Sunday, November 15, 2015

"Bad Luck" Friday

I'm not superstitious about Friday the 13th. Yes, this past Friday was a weird (even terrifying) day from start to finish but I'm not going to say that it's all connected to the day because many consider it unlucky. I'll tell you exactly why I don't believe that it was a "bad luck" day.

When I woke up at 4 a.m. (to help mom request an Uber ride to take her to work; she doesn't know how to use apps on cell phones), my entire body ached in an odd way. I tried to sleep it off with a nap but the achiness was still around when I woke up. I didn't know if it was a cold, the flu, or something else. My body was just not feeling great. Since I wasn't feeling well, I wrestled with the decision to go to the chiropractor. My lawyer's assistant stressed that I should not miss any appointments because it could harm my case. I decided to go. I had to request Uber since I was not feeling well enough to endure the bus ride to and from the chiropractor's office. I got to place, had my therapy, and left.

When I came home, I decided to call my car insurance company because I'd received a bill to pay for the month of December. The customer service rep I talked to asked if I was going to get a new car or repair my current car. Since I didn't know, it was decided that keeping my insurance (for now) would be best. I called my lawyer to inquire about the case since I hadn't heard from them in weeks. It was one month exactly (accident occurred on October 13) so I was curious.

I was unprepared to hear how cold the lawyer sounded when she spoke to me. There was no case. Police had determined that the guy who hit me was at fault (he ran the red light) but he had no actual car insurance. The insurance information he'd given was false; the insurance company confirmed that he had no insurance through them. It looks like my neighbor's information (that the guy had no car insurance or a license) was correct. We think the guy has disappeared since the accident. Driving without insurance (which is illegal) and with a potentially fake license? Few would own up to it. Interestingly enough, right after I got the news, my body stopped aching completely. It was like I'd experienced nothing for most of the morning.

So what does this news mean? Well, that I'm basically, financially hosed. Either I get my car repaired (a mechanic that knew my dad is supposed to come over to assess the costs to get my car fixed) or get a new (used) one. With the high cost of living in L.A., tuition and book fees for grad school, other medical payments that have to be made, a stalled GoFundMe fundraiser, and one steady paycheck coming in (mine depends on the amount of work and/or royalty payments that come in each month) we basically don't have enough to do either. We'll find a way to fix this... but it won't be anytime soon.

After talking to the lawyer (and my mom; I called her to tell her the news), I tried to focus on my Philosophy paper due that night (I received an extension due to the accident). I was close to finishing editing it when I heard about the Paris attacks. While it shocked me, it hit closer to home when a good friend texted me, reminding me that his parents are currently living in a Parisian suburb. Seigneur aie pitiƩ de nous. (Hopefully that's correct; my French is rudimentary.) I spent the next couple of hours keeping track of what was unfolding in Paris. Memories of 9/11 came flooding back. I couldn't believe was what happening. (side note: if you're wondering: I did end up finishing and submitting my paper on time.)

I shed many tears that day. It was just an overall overwhelming day with so many events happening at once. However, at the end of the day I was grateful. On a personal level, I have to dig deep and save up for either car repairs or a new car... but I still have my life and my health. Sure, my kneecap that was hurt in the accident hurts when it's cold but that can be remedied by keeping it warm. The material (car) can be replaced, my life cannot. Also, I did the math and we may actually save a bit more for a couple of months without the car. Surely, that will help bring a bit more financial stability (even if it's short lived) that we need.

I worked my tush off and I turned in a paper that I was proud of. Even if the grade isn't the best (I'm sure there was a lot I left out but the 10 page limit didn't give me enough space to write), I'm proud of myself for still working on despite everything that happened that day. If anything, I feel prepared for whatever the outcome. Either I pass my classes and continue or I don't. Either way, I have plans A, B, and C ready for whatever happens. Can't keep this girl down. :)

What happened in Paris is an atrocity. There's no way around that. There were so many lives lost... but so many more were saved by heroic acts of both civilians (such as the security guard who prevented a suicide bomber from entering the Stade de France) and policemen and women who rescued the hostages that weren't killed at the Bataclan Theater as well as in other places. In the aftermath there was mourning and anger... but also a sense of unity and resilience. I know some of my friends have an issue with me for looking at the bright side, even in horrific events such as this, but I can't help it. I see what happened for what it was -- a senseless act of violence against innocent victims -- but I also see the good that came out of it: an outpour of love and camaraderie that no one can take away. On a personal level, it made me realize just how much I love my family and friends yet how I don't say it enough. I know that they know but I should verbalize it more often. Also, the importance of frequent confession was made more glaringly obvious.

I feel like I can't do much in regards to what happened in Paris, except to pray. To pray for the souls of the victims. To pray for their loved ones. To pray for not only Paris but for the world -- there were earthquakes (Japan and Mexico) and other acts of violence (Beirut and Baghdad) either on the same day or close to the date of Parisian attacks. To pray that nations come together and come up with strategies that will help keep people safe; to prevent this from happening again. To pray for those who will risk their lives to ensure our safety, not just American soldiers but all soldiers in the fight against terrorism. I will remember that God is greater than the evil that exists. It may be hard to understand that -- especially for those who were more directly affected by the events -- but knowing that gives some comfort.

I think I'll end the blog post here but before I do I want to say a couple of things. Let your loved ones know how much they mean to you. Be grateful for all the good that exists, not just in your life but in the world as a whole. Pray. Be charitable. Go to confession. Keep God at the center of your life. In all your actions, try to make decisions that will lead you to Heaven. Be good and do good. I'll be praying for you all.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

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