With winter in full swing and the LVC year approaching its halfway point, it’s easy to get sucked down into a portal of stress and cold. I like to think that what’s kept us afloat through it all has been our ability to smile through it all. This includes smiling through car troubles, below-freezing wind chills, or even just the stress of everyday life. We always seem to lift each other back up.
Not long after the holidays had ended, I had a sliding collision with a telephone pole on my way to my LVC Placement. As it all happened all I could think of was how this was going to affect my everyday life. The experience made me realize that somethings are out of my control. After getting cleaned up in the emergency room, all that was left for me to stress over was my car’s un-drivable body sitting in our driveway.
Even as this inconvenience happened to me, I found that it brought me closer to the communities I live in and work with. Not being able to drive forced me to rely on my friends and coworkers for carpools. It also encouraged me to be more actively present in my LVC house community. This situation forced me to get closer to my housemates and to take advantage of every opportunity to talk to someone because I didn’t know the next time I might see them.
The inconvenience and anxiety that I thought were curses when it all first happened have brought me closer to everyone around me. I’ve been surprised at the generosity that I’ve experienced. I’ve had offers to help fix the car and haul car parts when I get them. In addition, because I was forced to slow down, I rediscovered doing things at home that I had forgotten that I loved to do, such as playing music, baking, and writing.
I wouldn’t have gotten through this situation without support. And while I wish that the accident hadn’t happened I’m glad that the experiences that followed it did happen. You never truly appreciate how many people support you until you need them most. I hope even after I get my wheels on the road again I continue to appreciate all I’ve come to value so much in this community I increasingly call home.
By Tyler Birkhoff, Hillstrom House