Although I am not religious at all, I do have a firm belief in God. The so-called “catastrophic” occurrences that happened in my life turned out to be good things and have fueled the direction of my life to go forward. The journey has consequently led me down the path to where I always envisioned my life to be.
I believe that the ‘Dave Matthews Band’ song, “Lying in the Hands of God” describes my life perfectly, and that is why I entitled my paper this way. With this paper, I am aiming to allow you (the reader) to not only feel adequately introduced to me, but also to get a clear understanding of why I am the person I am today; the person that can mostly be accredited to my mother.
My mother raised me independently. She gave birth to me when she was only 15 years old and she was always very mature for her age. People are always amazed when they witness how much my Mom loves me. This simply proves the thought that is in chapter one of our text, “Children who felt loved and cared for were ‘happier and showed greater social and moral maturity as adults than those who felt rejected, neglected, or unwanted” (McClelland, 1978. p. 53).
While I was growing up, my Mom often worked two (and sometimes three) different jobs and raised me on her own; she is the person I look up to most. Mom was my financial and emotional “rock.” For example; she was a waitress at a local barbeque restaurant and she would pick me up from school and take me to work with her during her break because she was working a double shift.
As our text for the course in chapter three says: “Early adulthood … is often a troubling time for many as they seek to discover who they are, what they want to do, and the type of person they want to become” (Witt and Mossler, 2010. p. 53). Upon graduating high school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to achieve, but I knew that going to college immediately after 13 years of being in school was something I did not want to do. I informed my Mom of that, and she gave me the ultimatum of either attending college or finding a job and paying all of my bills. I took that threat seriously and enrolled in the community college (that was located across the street from our home). Although it was a 2-year college, I attended George C. Wallace State Community College for at least four years, with no major declared!
My (step) dad, Jeff, helped me to realize just how deeply music interested me because we would center our conversations with one another on musical artists and such. He won two tickets on the radio for an acoustic show by a popular musical artist at the time and gave them to my Mom and me. Before the show, Mom quickly made friends with the promotions assistant for a competing, new (rock) radio station that was at the show. The man mentioned that they needed people to work at the new station, “Rock 97.3 – Birmingham’s REAL Rock Station.” Mom immediately volunteered me because I had always wanted to work in radio.
I worked (unpaid) with the promotions department for several months when a man, Scott / “Doc,” who was a DJ (on-air personality) for the station asked me if I wanted to “voice-track” (pre-record) an overnight (12 A.M.-6 A.M.) shift. I began “voice-tracking” every week. ‘Rock 97.3’ was taken off of the air and replaced with a radio station that played music from the 1980s. The P.D. (programming director) for the new station recommended me for the job of the new station’s morning show producer where I would (finally) be getting paid. I was “½Pint” on the morning show.
I also did production work after I finished my work for the morning show and I would sleep at the station most nights. I would awaken using my cell phone’s alarm clock, then start the process over the next day! The text in the online book states “the cumulative effects of sleep deprivation may be problematic,” (Witt and Mossler, chapter 3.2) and for me, the lack of restful sleep began affecting my ability to successfully finish my college course-work and ultimately helped me to make the decision stop going to college. Eventually, I even quit working in radio because the pay was minimal and I was spending over half of the day five days and nights a week working (while sleeping at the station at night).
After I stopped working in radio, I applied for a job as a server (waitress) at a ‘Ruby Tuesday’ restaurant that was closer to my boyfriend at the time’s house. I was hired immediately. What was supposed to be a temporary job until I was able to find work at another radio station, ended up being a permanent job because I grew to love the people I worked with as well as the job itself!
I do not really recall the day the accident that changed my life for the better occurred; my “memories” are mainly my Mom’s recollections of that fateful day. While on my way to work January 13, 2004, according to witnesses, a male driving in a pick-up truck in front of me had been driving recklessly on a 4-lane highway. He suddenly stopped in front of my car and I swerved into the right lane to avoid hitting his truck. I am not so sure that I saw the semi-truck (18-wheeler / MAC truck) approaching. My action caused the diesel truck to “t-bone” the passenger side of my car. The driver of the diesel truck got out of his rig, and prayed out loud for God to “please not take me.” I recall it perfectly, only I do not remember from my own eyes, instead I remember this happening as if I am watching from high above and looking down—an “out of body” experience. The man who caused the accident quickly sped away.
A ‘Lifesaver helicopter’ airlifted me to a hospital that was over an hour away. Mom says when they finally allowed her in the room, I appeared as if I was sleeping. I did not have any visible injury’s or broken bones. I was comatose and had a C-2 (the vertebrae number) fracture in my neck that could have paralyzed or even killed me.
I sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spent 13 weeks in the hospital. My mom lovingly chose to “raise me again” from the stage of infancy as opposed to putting me into a long-term care facility. The driver of the pick-up truck was never caught.
My Mom has always been so influential in my life, and my future husband, Artie, is perhaps the most influential person thus far.He and I met on the Internet, “Facebook,” because of a mutual love for “The Dave Matthews Band.” Six months after we met in person, I moved to New York on September 1, 2009. According to Robert Sternberg’s stages of love chart, we feel the consummate type of love which is an “emotionally close, sexually exciting long-term relationship.” (Witt and Mossler, chapter 3.4).
Although Artie and I believe that we were meant to be together, we have experienced rough times. Luckily, he has taught me to focus more on “forming a complementary bond,” as opposed to “making sure my selfish needs are met” (Witt & Mossler, chapter 3.2). Artie proposed marriage to me on my 31st birthday, November 20, 2010. I said “yes” after the 3rd proposal.
Until I was assigned a paper about with what has happened in my life, I have not ever taken the initiative to write about the accident. I now understand that it is because of these horrific events that my life finally turned out to be the way I wanted but never actively planned.
Certain musical artists have really touched me throughout my life; the title of this paper is also shared by the title of a “DMB” song. I have been shown that despite the horrendous times I have experienced. People should “save (their) sermons for someone that’s afraid to love” because I will always be “right here, lying in the hands of God” (The Dave Matthews Band).
Matthews, D. (2009) Lying in the Hands of God [Recorded by The Dave Matthews Band] On Big Whiskey and the Groo-Grux King [CD, track number 4]. Bama Rags Recordings.
McClelland, Constantian, Regalado, & Stone (1978, p. 53). In Early Adulthood: The Emerging Adult. Adult Development and Life Assessment (p. 36). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Witt, G.A., & Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult development and life assessment.
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