I must have pressed the backspace on this keyboard at least 100 times already. Word after word, sentence after sentence, deleted. It’s funny because the wordpress interface is one of my favorite places to write my thoughts and right now, right now I’m having the most difficult time organizing my thoughts to create paragraphs.
I blame it on the car accident. It happened a few weeks ago. I’ll get into it in a few, but at this very second, I’m trying to write.
To begin, I’m starting from scratch. I’m forcing myself to write down the exact steps I’m taking to write down the words you’re reading at this very moment. This can be seen as “meta” and in a way “cheating” – but it’s the only way I can start revving the momentum train back to self-producing.
The car accident has left me stunned, shocked, and uninspired to do anything for myself. I say the word, “myself,” because I’m still producing and editing content for other companies and brands.
I’m still leading a class where I’m teaching others how to go viral on Facebook. And, I’m still writing sketches and scripts for other influencers. Hell, I’m going to brag a little bit and say that one of my videos just hit 22 million views today!
Though these tasks help pay my rent, I’m lost when it comes to MY work. MY Youtube channel. MY Facebook page. The ability to self-produce content ANYWHERE is lacking spark.
Here I am.
Doing what I can.
To rev this engine back up again.
There are orange plugs in my ears. The laptop is nestled on top of a pillow, which snuggles nicely on top my lap. My fingers are resting ontop of the keyboard. I’m strapped in and ready to go! I’m writing again. I’m fucking writing again.
Holy shit. I’m writing again.
Let me start by writing about the car accident.
The Car Accident
Since the car accident I’ve been having nightmares: night-terrors every single night. I roll, I scratch myself, I wake up sweating, I wake up gasping for air… I can’t sleep.
Even now, as I begin to reflect on the accident, I’m trying to figure out what exactly led to the crash. I remember getting off of work in the city (downtown San Francisco), getting a Lyft (rideshare) back to where I parked my car, I remember getting into my car, and then I remember starting the car to drive back home (which is literally 8-9 miles from where I parked my car).
The route is habit.
The next thing I remember is a bright car swerving in front of me, which leads me to swerve, but it’s too late. BAM!
Everything inside my car turns white.
I’m unable to describe what exactly is happening, I’m unable to tell how I feel in that moment, I’m unable to explain to you how time stopped in that moment, I’m unable to explain to you how my soul left my fucking body as I saw myself close my eyes as my car flew up in the air and landed upright in the middle of the freeway.
I was perpendicular from oncoming traffic.
I’m unable to explain how my soul jumped back into my body with so much force that my heart punched its way through my chest to remind me I was alive. My head nudged up as if someone was pulling me up by a string. I woke up; my throat searching for air as my eyes began to blink.
till everything was clear again.
Could I move?
Why is my hand bleeding?
Why is my nose bleeding?
Oh shit where is this blood coming from?
Where are my glasses?
My glasses seem to have flown on the dashboard. I grab my glasses.
Is my face okay?
Why is there glass everywhere?
Can I move?
Then – a woman out of nowhere ran up to me…
“HELP ME! “HELP ME! MY GIRLFRIEND IS UNDERNEATH A CAR!”
My first instinct – get up from my seat and start running.
I PICKING UP MY LEGS. I RUN.
I RUN TOWARDS HER SCREAMS.
I RUN TO HER.
I see her girlfriend.
There she is – her girlfriend: a woman underneath a shattered car, a car which seems to have been bludgeoned against a wall.
“SOMEONE HELP MY GIRLFRIEND! HELP HER PLEASE!”
I’m looking around for people to help this woman. More people show up. I run on the freeway asking people for help. I run back and forth and back and forth between my car, other cars, “HELP HER PLEASE!”
Some random passerby is able to stick his head under the bludgeoned car and says, “ambulances are on their way in about 5 minutes. breathe with me… breathe with me… breathe with me..”
Again I hear the screams, “SOMEONE HELP MY GIRLFRIEND!”
I look under the car and get a closer look of this woman. She’s breathing. More people show up. I have no idea how this woman got under the car in the first place. I just see a bunch of cars. I’m praying. I’m praying.
I AM. FUCKING. PRAYING. STAY WITH US.
“SOMEONE HELP MY GIRLFRIEND!”
Someone taps on my arm to move my car from the middle of the freeway to the shoulder. My car won’t start… so I start pushing the car (from the middle of the freeway to the shoulder) so the flow of traffic can start speeding through: I feel guilty because my car is blocking traffic; this feels like a good step forward.
Ambulances show up.
Firefighters show up.
The woman underneath the other car is put on a stretcher and is taken to the nearest hospital. I see her breathing. I ask a firefighter, “is she alive? is she okay?” He responds, “she’s alive.” I bow my head, “can we take a moment to pray? Please.”
We sit in silence as we pray.
Cops show up.
Then one lady, which I assume to the be the woman from the bludgeoned car, says, “my back hurts can someone take me to the hospital?” and she’s gone.
The cops then start asking for people who were involved in the accident. I tell them I was involved. I’m told to stand next to my car.
I learn later that everyone else left the scene by ambulance…. or just left. There are no witnesses. Everyone is gone.
I stay with the the cop. He asks what happens. I close my eyes to put pieces together and then tell him my story: i) coming home from work ii) going with the flow of traffic iii) car swerves in front of me iv) I try to swerve v) too late vi) now I’m in the middle of the freeway… perpendicular to oncoming traffic.
The cops go through my paperwork (rental car) and they do tests. I pass. Then, they realize I only live about 3 miles away so they drive me home. I get home to a rowdy group of roommates (who are also my startup coworkers).
I tell them I got into an accident.
“What?” No one seems to care as they think I’m joking.
no time to talk about anything else. life is about work. back to work.
show must go on. they ask –
“Jonathan, can you take photos, make a video and edit the video before the startup event?”
“Yes. Of course”
“Do it ‘Jonathan Gaurano’ style”
“haha. of course” I end with a thumbs up and a smile.
I put my stuff away and jump in the shower and sit there, in the tub, thinking about the accident.
I Was Perpendicular to Traffic
As I’m writing this I’m saying to myself… Holy fuck.
How did I not get hit by oncoming traffic? How the hell am I alive?
How was I able to run?
When I went to the the ER the next day, the doctor was pretty shocked that I only a few scratches on my head, wrists, and palm of my hands.
I should’ve gotten a cat scan or something. I personally feel I got a concussion.
The nightmares come in many forms. Many times it’s of me dying by suicide or through other traumatic experiences.
The worst dreams are the ones where members of my friends and family… die: passing away before I’m able to tell them that they’re beautiful, before I’m able to tell them a joke, before I’m able to give them a hug…
I already struggle with manic depression and PTSD. It’s taken me 20+ years to be aware of the triggers that affect my current manic depression and PTSD: something I fight with everyday. And now, my brain is struggling even more, because I feel this event is causing something new – new nightmares, new triggers; triggers I’m unable to locate because I don’t know where to start.
Currently, I occupy my time with work, I occupy my time with teaching, I occupy my time by taking walks on the beach, I occupy my time with any distraction I can to stray away from dreaming.
One thing is helping.
Writing about the crash, calling it “the crash,” writing the words “car accident,” is helping my brain cope through the mess.
what are the triggers? I just want to sleep.
I live in a house full of guys where they love to play their music at all hours of the night (workaholic startup entrepreneurs who all have weird sleep cycles): we’re talking trans, to techno, to loud bass. So, it’s been difficult for me to just to seclude myself – somewhere in complete silence.
A silent place to…
think about the accident.
think about my life.
think about how to move forward.
I don’t know what might happen in the upcoming months.
I do know one thing, what’s that? Life is beautiful.
Life is fucking beautiful. Period.
Everyone goes through shit.
I’m up. I’m ready to go.
Picking myself up again.
Time to start filming again.
I’m ready to start filming again.
Life is beautiful.
By the way – if you’re reading this –
YOU ARE WONDERFUL! YOU ARE AMAZING! YOU ARE FANTASTIC!
appreciating the people in my life who make me happy – helps so much.
Thank you for listening.
Writing on top of the covers of my bed – Daly City, CA