A Decade under the influence

It is strange how events can change your life and how you feel about yourself.
It doesnt feel so long ago, such a glorious sunday afternoon, 8 friends, 8 motorbikes and england as our playground.  Spirits were high and all of us were looking forward to our day out.  No-one would have expected 2 accidents in one day.  One – a relatively simple trip into a ditch and the rider walked away, the other, not so, ending with a triple fatality, ironically, so close to home.
Trauma is best avoided whenever possible, although that is not always an option.  Describing the immediate aftermath is hard.  Of course the whole scenario seems unreal at the time.  The carnage at the scene was violent, an impact of real life, not hollywood.  Three lives taken in an instant.
The real trauma was only just beginning for others.  Watching others deal with the loss was not something i can not even begin to describe, even with an extensive vocabulary.  To say their world was torn apart would be a mellow-dramatic understatement.  Watching how they changed over the following years is beyond description.
Looking back on this time, i can agree now that it was a moment that began a change in the way i viewed what is important in life.  At that time, i was on a heady corporate climb, bouncing from sucess to sucess.  After this event, i began questioning all of my values.
More would follow
In the following five years, three more friends would dissappear.  Two, also claimed by road accidents, both stunningly beautiful girls, both not 25 years old.  Then, the hardest telephone call ever.  Silence on both ends of a telephone line as i heard the words ‘ I have cancer ‘ .  The only response i could muster was to honestly tell them ‘ I don’t know what to say ‘ .  He died not two weeks later.
Questioning your values in life helps you on your own journey.  Having past experiences helps you along the way when you are getting a little lost with your own direction.
Many people say it, i wonder how many of those people realise exactly what they are saying – life is short!  Enjoy it while you can.
I have to thank Ryan, Debbie, Princess Kirsty and Graham for showing me a different way.  If they were all alive today, i dont know how much contact i would still have with them.  There is no doubt in my mind that i owe them greatly for enlightening me into the way of life that i now enjoy so fully.  Would i give it up to have just one of them still alive – of course yes – in an instant.
Collectively, they all taught me something.  They taught me to say ‘ fuck it ‘ when things are shit and i want more out of life.  Collectively, they give me the courage and inspiration to continually move on, try new things and to know just how lucky i am to be alive.

Have a moan - the beers are on me !!

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