On Near Misses

I’m not sure what I believe in. I’m not sure what I believe, but I believe in signs. I believe sometimes the universe tells you things and it’s your job to figure out just what the universe is trying to say. This is hard, because you know, the universe doesn’t exactly enunciate or… speak. The universe, at best can be described as using some funked-up cosmic form of semaphore or smoke signals. Interpreting the universe requires a bit of thought, more than most people like to do.

Okay, fine, more than I sometimes like to do.

Like sometimes when I have my iPod on shuffle and certain songs come up over and over again, and I think to myself, Steve Jobs? What message are you sending me from the beyond? What should I be taking away from the fact that I’ve heard this song by The Civil Wars four times in the past twenty songs and it’s only on my iPod twice? Hmmm…

Coincidence? Oh, most likely. But sometimes it feels like a message from the universe and when the universe talks, it’s worth a listen.


I had dropped my daughters off with my mom this afternoon so I could grocery shop. I was driving north on a two lane road. I was going the speed limit, or possibly slightly under (I’m an annoying driver, I admit it) and I was approaching an intersection.

Running north-south, the intersection has a blinking yellow light. East-west, a blinking red.

As I approached my blinking yellow, a burgundy car was stopped, but as I got nearer to the intersection – the intersection that did not require I stop – the car began to proceed through, heading east.

In an instant my foot flew from the gas pedal to the brake and I slammed hard, but I quickly saw that even with immediate braking, I was still going to hit that car. I would plow right into the passenger side of the vehicle at about 45 – 50 miles per hour.

My brain flashed again and I swerved to the left to swing my car around behind the burgundy vehicle to get around it.

I narrowly missed colliding with any part of the burgundy car. The driver of the vehicle continued to head east, and I pulled over as soon as it was safe and put my hands to my face and sobbed. I kept thinking the driver would turn around, come back, say sorry, but nothing. I turned the radio off, and cried into my hands until the tears were gone and I felt like I could drive again.

Had my brakes not worked at all, we would have definitely collided.

Had there been a car oncoming in the south bound lane, I’d likely have been in a head-on collision when I swerved.

Had the girls not been with my mom, surely they’d have been terrified, even if nothing had happened.

And maybe the biggest consequence would only have been a smushed car, but things easily could have turned out differently this afternoon.


So what is the universe trying to tell me?

I’m not entirely sure. I feel pretty lucky today, though. And in the massive sea of things that don’t feel right to me right now, in the chaos of change and adjusting where I’ve had days where I’ve felt ANYTHING but lucky, you know what? I’m still here.

I’m here and every day is mine and even the bad days are mine and I can do the best I can with each one of them.

And maybe the Universe just wanted to remind me that some people are awful drivers, or that not everyone looks before proceeding through an intersection, or maybe I should be wary of those driving burgundy cars. I don’t know. What I’m taking from it, though, is that I’m still here. Despite the yuck. I have all this opportunity with every day I have to appreciate it, even if only a little bit.

Perhaps I’m reading a bit too much into it, but then again, that’s what near misses are for.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. How scary for you, so glad you weren’t hurt. Appreciating each day and its opportunities is never a bad thing to remember.

  2. Glad you are safe!!!

  3. Glad you didn’t leave your moms house once second later! Glad you avoided being in an accident!


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