August 10, 2012, is burned indelibly in my mind. It would change the course of my life.
It was a sunny Friday evening. My family and I were together for the first time in nearly eight years.My sister, her spouse and the children. We were so excited to spend the evening together but not long after it had started, it ended with a terrible car accident.
An eighteen-year-old, texting while driving spotted our SUV too late! He panicked and hit the accelerator slamming into the side of the vehicle. He hit us at a high rate of speed, sending the car into a spin.
I sat behind the driver and bore the brunt of the accident.
I was lucky to survive. I received multiple injuries to my legs, left hip, lungs, spine, hands, left shoulder, and head.
I spent the next 1, 278 grueling and painful days in rehabilitation. Only to realize, I will never go back to my career or work again, and I will be disabled for the rest of my life.
I went from being a workaholic to spending time away from business to recover and deal with pain and medications, and also I needed time to learn new ways of doing things. I had limited use of my hands making writing, typing or any administrative task difficult or impossible. I had to learn to live again!
However, I refused to sit at home and watch life go by.
Day after day, I mustered up the sheer willpower and endured additional pain to have a cup of coffee with anyone who was willing to take time out of their day for me. Over the last three and a half years, I have met some amazing people; heard heart-breaking stories, and celebrated unbelievable successes. I had no idea how these people and their stories would weave into my life but I learned a long time ago you can do anything with a strong network.
Then, I had coffee with a close a friend. He just received a devastating cancer diagnosis. We laughed. We cried. We reminisced. We also discussed a fragile future.
That night, I didn’t sleep. I was angry. I felt like I wasted the last three and a half years of my life. I let my circumstances and a new disability determine my value to the world.
I always pictured myself on my own path to survive but I realized after having coffee with a friend, I wasn’t on my path. I was on the path of surviving moving into thriving and there are all kinds of people on this road too. I suddenly, pictured myself looking back for my friend on this path and see so many people behind me. Those whose journeys had yet to take them where I had already been.
All this time, I could have been sharing the lessons I had learned with all of these people. I could have been easing their journey, and yet, I had only just realized this.
Sometime, in the middle of the night, I vowed to dedicate my life to become the best resource I can be to anyone on a journey who has walked my path.
This decision has driven me to complete two upcoming books and create one of the most powerful business partnerships in my life. Our business is exploding by giving hope to people who need it and creating an incredible network of business folks who are dedicated to being the best resource they can be to anyone following in their foot-steps.
Together we are becoming stronger and changing lives every hour of every day.
Sometimes life is heartbreaking, and the road ahead looks bleak but never lose hope. Your definition of success is attainable especially if you see all the other people on the journey with you.
By Virginia Phillips
Virginia’s books ‘The Truth about Trauma’ and ‘Triumph after Trauma’ are due to be released in 2017. And staff at Pink Sky Magazine can’t wait to read them.