In March of 2015, coming back from a social painting night, everything changed for me in a second.
It was around 10pm at night. I was driving home on the 401 through Woodstock. The 401 is a highway that stretches across Canada, from east to west. Through Woodstock it’s a three lane highway and some points have little to no shoulder.
I had had a good time painting so I was feeling happy enough but I knew I was missing something. I was happier away from home than there. I saw this painting instructor’s business and wondered why I couldn’t do something like that too – have a more creative business. You know, the meandering thoughts that happen when you’re driving.
The 401 is never empty. Sometimes it has less traffic but it’s never a ghost town at least where I’ve lived. I was in the fast lane and there was traffic next to me in the middle lane.
And coming straight at me were headlights.
Did I mention that the 401 is a divided highway? With a concrete barrier between directions? Because it is so no headlights should have been coming towards me at any point.
There was a vehicle in my lane driving the wrong way and I had no place to go.
This was my certain death experience. Right there. I was going to die.
My life didn’t flash before my eyes at all. I got angry. I was going to die and I hadn’t really lived my life at all. I had existed.
My plans of being a writer, being an artist, travelling and seeing the world had all withered. My kids would grow up without their mother. Without even knowing that they could reach high and have incredible lives.
I had wasted every talent, every skill, everything I was born with.
That moment led me to make some huge changes in my life, which up until that point had been full of frustration and resentment. Since then, I ended my marriage, became a full time artist, traveled the world and am now writing two books.
A wake the fuck up moment can be powerful if you’re willing to let it in. And the rewards? Far richer than you can imagine.
Paula is a recovering web application developer, with a background in publishing and e-learning.
She spends her time painting, writing and helping authors publish their books. You can see her art on her other site here http://www.paulamould.com
You can find her on social media here
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