Life is a mystery, but one thing is for certain it sure isn’t long.
I once saw a quote somewhere that went something like this. “Never be a prisoner of your past, become the architect of your future”.
You know how people always say; in a split second, your whole life can change. Well, this is one of those stories; the only difference is the second doesn’t feel like a second; it feels much longer.
For you to completely understand this story, you may need a little background. So let’s take a trip down memory lane.
I was about ten when my family migrated to this beautiful country, Australia. And that was the beginning of this story. We moved a few times before settling into the west of Sydney. It was around that time I began my high school life. Now, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t the cool kid, I was the nerd, in fact, a nerd who wasn’t that good at studies. I was, however, a little different from other kids. I was interested in technology, computers and human behaviour. Despite that, I got bullied and didn’t have many friends. It still astonishes me how brutal kids can be. And since my life wasn’t a high school comedy, there was no scenario, where I get told I was the chosen one. Nevertheless, it wasn’t all that bad. I had a few good friends, and we had fun.
If you focus on the positive, see the silver lining in situations and be grateful for things and the people around you, your life will be significantly better. I can’t emphasise that enough. I laugh as I say this; because I was never one of those people who managed to see the bright side, I was a brat, and I was ungrateful.
You see, life’s got a sense of humour and a plan of its own. No matter how strong you think you are, at some point in your life, life itself will thump you down and bring you to your knees!! (insert famous Rocky Speech here). In my case, the thumping part was very literal.
I was at the Gym on Christmas day 2014, a nice warm day with beautiful clear skies, or at least that’s how I remember it.
I sustained a traumatic head injury. The injury was strong enough to burst blood vessels in my head, leaving me with a Subdural hematoma. I Ended up in a medically induced coma, underwent three separate surgeries and pretty sure my heart stopped.
It’s almost ironic in a way, I use to joke about how I had such bad luck that I would get hit by a satellite. You know how, Mahatma Gandhi said, “Your thoughts become your reality; be careful.” Well, he wasn’t kidding. The most challenging part wasn’t my own suffering, but the suffering that my accident brought on to the people around me, my family in particular. At points, I felt so weak I would tear up and would try my best to hide them because you know, had to be strong for my beautiful Mother.
But as they say, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. (Kelly Clarkson, that you?) Thus began the road to recovery both mentally & physically. On my last day at the hospital, I had to see this lovely psychologist. She asked pretty average questions like; When were you born, the usual. And just before we were done, she asked, “What are you looking forward to the most when you recover?” I knew the answer before the words even left her mouth, It was the Gym. I could not wait to go back to the Gym. The look on her face was priceless, if she didn’t think i was crazy before, she definitely did now.
The whole experience left me with a killer scar (it makes for a great story) and a few vital life lessons. And since we all love a good list, below are some of the critical Lessons Learned from my Near-Death Experience.
- Life is fucking short & it goes by in the Blink of an Eye. And no I am not saying we should sell our cars, quit our jobs and go camping at Mount Everest. I mean you could if thats what you want to do. But if there’s one thing i could note it would be to start living consciously and begin living your life. Being in the moment. At the end of the day, we all have these extravagant goals, all these plans and we place our happiness in the infamous tomorrow. Yet, you and I both know that we can’t guaranty tomorrow. I suppose in that sense; every day is like flipping a coin. Heads, we live and tails, we play chess with the devil. Steve Jobs puts it perfectly; If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll be right.
- Friends and family are the coffee to your cup. Sometimes it takes some traumatic shit to realise what’s truly important in life. Money, nice cars and the cool apartment all those things are essential if you care about them enough. Friends and family the people who are there for you through thick and sick, they are the real MVP of this story. There is a sub lesson in here somewhere. Often as humans, we think we are alone, and at times we may be right. However, more often than not, there are always people who care about you. In my case, there were a lot of them, and I mean a lot. Once a nurse told me that there was a line of people waiting outside to see me. And despite the fact how many times i say this, my Mum! I always say this, Mum’s all around the planet are like superman but without the bad haircut.
- Refill the kettle. This is the wildcard of the lessons, and I didn’t actually learn this lesson until a bit later. Living for your self is a good start, but it’s not until you start living for others that you begin to see the real spark in life. Am I truly living for other people? That, I don’t know. However, I can tell you the happiness you feel when you take the time out of your day to do something for the next person, is one of a kind. These random acts of kindness don’t even have to be significant, you could simply fill the kettle after you are done, for the next person. There is also a little selfish reason to be selfless, Now I can’t confirm this, but many say that if you live for others, you’ll most likely succeed.
I have since decided to live my life to the fullest and never take anything for granted, your friends, your family, and you, nothing lasts forever. Am I living up the promise I made to self? Not always, like i said life has a sense of humour, but I will keep trying, and that is really all we as humans can do.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read. Like i said, people care. ❤
My Name is Aneeqe A. Khan, this is my story, and no, I did not see the light.