In the past four years since the accident, I've found that it always rains on August 27th, the day of the accident. It's always a series of violent summer storms, and it doesn't seem to matter where I am. Be it Florida or Pennsylvania, it always storms on this particular day. I'm slowly coming to peace with everything that happened, and am able to finally forgive the drunk driver who hit me. I'm still angry about it, but I can only wish her the best in her new life after prison.
Despite the physical pain that stays around and hardships that came after it, I feel that it was quite possibly the best thing to have ever happened to me. There was the insurance settlement which I immediately squandered on random crap and ended up worse off financially after the fact than I was before, there was the physical therapy, the epileptic seizures, the career dry spells, and the depression that came along with it. It was an event that triggered a whole slew of random, bizarre, and important life experiences. I made life decisions based on these issues in efforts to improve life.
The career dry spells, depression, and pain led me to make a major life decision two years ago. Things weren't improving in Tampa, personally or professionally. I decided that in order to move forward that I had to seek out job opportunities elsewhere in the country. I cold called various companies in cities that I wanted to live in. New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New Jersey were all places I was willing to move to and cold called businesses in. One company based out of Philadelphia didn't have an opening for me in Philly, but did a phone interview anyway and asked how I liked Pittsburgh. I told them that I'd never been there before, but if they paid for me to move - it was the greatest place on earth, thinking that they'd never bite.
Two weeks later, they paid for me to fly up to Pittsburgh and interview in person. I was unofficially offered the job and told to learn the lay of the land - I fell in love with the area while wandering around. I called every wednesday after that to check on the status of the job. After four weeks, I received a call and was told to get my stuff together and head on up. I packed up all of my worldly belongings into my Ford Focus and drove off, ready to begin a new life.
Pittsburgh was nothing short of incredible when I got there. The people were friendly and nice, work was challenging and fulfilling, and I was excited about life again. Within a week, I met Christine. We met through a mutual friend, only with the intentions of hanging out together. In no time, we found that there was more than just a good friendship between us. We began dating, and within six months we were engaged. In six weeks, she will be my wife. We're presently in the midst of buying our first house together in addition to dealing with our wedding. She has been nothing short of the greatest thing to happen to me. Things aren't always perfect, but we get by and make the best of everything we deal with.
My fiancee and I have set up a website on our engagement with photos, blogs (though they haven't been updated in ages), and all sorts of stuff. It can be found here at www.chrisandian.com
It's odd how one bad thing can trigger a set of bad things that can ultimately lead to nothing short of greatness. During the depths of my depression, I always kept telling myself "things will get better, you don't know what tomorrow will bring". Little did I know that they actually would. Hope is an important thing, always always always keep hope. No matter how bad things may get, they will improve.