It was as if someone took a hammer to my kneecaps. I could feel the stinging scrape on my elbow. The cold, wet street pressed against me. My backpack, weighted with textbooks and my laptop, kept me face down on the ground. After riding a bicycle to and from class for two years, I never managed to have any serious bike accident. Even a fender bender was rare for me on the bike path. But no matter what my experience or skill, it could happen to anyone, myself included. And that night, it happened to me.
I didn’t think about any of this when I flew over the handlebars of my bike, however. Instead, I thought, “Get up. Keep going.” And I couldn’t have been on the ground for more than ten seconds before standing up, picking up my bike, and riding the rest of the way home. Sure, I was sore all over and scraped up, but I had no choice; I had to get home.
Weeks later, it amazes me that I was able to get up so quickly and continue home to write a paper, as if my accident was no big deal. Why can’t all problems I encounter be similar to this incident? In emotional matters and conflicts of the mind & heart, why can’t I just “get up and keep going?” What is it about my physical body that makes it much more capable of overcoming struggles than my mind and soul? Are the tangible me and abstract me different in this regard?
What I do know is this: On that cold, rainy night, I could have chosen to stay on the ground. I could have cried, thrown myself a pity party for everything wrong in my life, my accident and the rest of the mistakes I’ve made, how this would ruin my night and the days following it, and remain in the road until I didn’t want to deal with the approaching cars. Knowing me, I very well might have done so. Instead, I bypassed all of that. I told myself to get up and keep going. I think the same can be said for any other issue in my life. It has become increasingly apparent to me that everything is a matter of perspective. While we may not be able to change the events life throws our way, we can control how we view them and respond to them. And maybe instead of falling into emotional slumps, I need to “get up” and “keep going.”
PS: Thank you to the car of bros who asked if I was okay. I am, and will continue to be so. :)