“I drove my car into a cop car the other day.
Well he just drove off sometimes life’s okay.”
I was driving home from school, waiting at a stoplight, with a Pepsi in my cup holder and music from my favorite Indie radio station playing through the car speakers. I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel, waited for the light to change, and when it did, I made the same left turn I had made every day of the school year, but this time was different; I didn’t make it through the left turn before I collided with an oncoming car.
I did not move. I did not think. I just froze. Everything is a blur between the beginning of that left turn and the subsequent meeting with the other driver and a local police officer in a gas station parking lot. Certain I was going to jail for the rest of my life or at least in being brought in for a good reprimanding and a ticket, I was surprised by the young woman who emerged from the other car unscathed. She was sympathetic, saying, “Aw man, I remember making that turn everyday when I went to that school. It was the worst. At least no one is hurt, huh?” I was even more surprised at the cop who took my information, speaking with me about his own 17-year-old daughter who had recently gotten her license. He waited patiently with me in the gas station parking lot until my mom came to drive me home.
“And we’ll all float on okay.
We’ll all float on anyway”
I had to go to traffic court. I was embarrassed and shaken, but it was OK. The world did not end. Time did not stop. I simply floated on to the next experience in life.
“Bad news comes. Don’t you worry even when it lands. Good news will work its way to all them plans.
We both got fired on exactly the same day. Well we’ll float on. Good news is on the way.”
I worked in a Halloween store that same year. It was not the best of jobs, but it was something to do and provided me with a sense of independence. My coworkers were not the most friendly people, but the quiet time was OK. I had worked there every day after school when one evening an unexpected phone call shattered my routine. After receiving news that a family member was in the hospital with only a short time left to say goodbyes, I made a midnight trip to Maryland. The following afternoon, shocked, exhausted, and experiencing the grief of a recent loss, I received yet another phone call. This one came from my boss in Virginia, irritated and angry, because I had forgotten to call out of work that day. Upon arriving back in Virginia a week or so later, I was upset to find that, along with the difficult loss of a friend, I had lost a job as well.
These events - along with a slew of other unfortunate experiences - made that senior year of high school one of the most difficult times in my life. However, it was also the year I received a college acceptance letter and made strides opening up about my depression to my family and friends. It was the year I found a counselor who helped me begin working toward a healthier life. It was the year my cheerleading team won a national competition and the year I finally graduated and realized that High School would not last forever.
“Don’t worry even if things end up a bit too heavy. We’ll all float on alright.”
Life is not easy. Walking through the difficult days, it may feel as though we will remain trapped forever. But this song reminds me that we are never truly stuck standing still. We continue growing. The bad times fade into distant memories and the good times are the ones we hold on to. There will be challenges in the future. There will be days when we are too tired to swim, and on those days, it is okay to simply float. We must remind ourselves that we are always moving on to something new and something better. So even when we feel defeated or small, we must remember that we are growing. We are learning. We are floating.