What can happen in a second

By Shirin Nataneli, 12th Grade

It’s funny how important seconds are. In one second something can happen that will change your life forever.

That’s what happened to me, in one second I heard the pop, the next I was on the turf clutching my knee. I remember telling myself I was being stupid, that I should get up and keep playing because I would be fine tomorrow. But on that soccer field on October 12, 2015, that one second caused more then just a bruise. In one second two ligaments in my knee were torn and my ability to walk was taken away.

It was a lot to take in.

Like most seniors, I began my year with the highest of expectations. I would get good grades, hopefully be captain of the two teams I had worked so hard for the past few years, go to parties, and just enjoy my last year. So that one second where I was trying to ram into people to get a soccer ball changed everything.

I am not saying I’m a wise sage, but even though it’s been only five months since my injury and I’m still dealing with the ramifications, I do believe I have been able to reflect. For one, I realized the importance of something most of us take for granted — walking.

My brother, who was paralyzed from the waist down because of an accident that happened when he was a kid, has been dealing with this most of his life. In four short months of crutches and leg braces I realized what a blessing it was to be able to walk. The constant fear of your crutches slipping or the aches in your arms from carrying your weight all day is unbearable, and I remember at first complaining all the time.

But after a couple of days I stopped complaining, looking to my brother. He kept me going. Despite the trauma he faced and the constant annoyance of crutches, he worked hard and got himself a Ph.D. If that isn’t encouragement I don’t know what is.

As I continue to reflect, I also realize the importance of inclusion, along with companionship. One of the worst things for me was staying in bed all day alone after my surgery. My parents had work and my friends had school, so for most of the time my cat was the only one keeping me company.

But then I started getting texts from a lot of people, often times people I wasn’t even very close with. That really helped, and the friends that did come over to visit, even if it was for half an hour during lunch, lifted my spirits to heights I couldn’t even imagine possible while in that situation.

The year isn’t even over yet but I still believe I have learned so much. I know that even the little things you normally take for granted are such huge blessings.

And I also know that whether you are best friends with someone or they are someone you mutter “hi” to every once in a while in the hallways, they each have something to offer. It can be a smile, joke, or some advice, but even in a short second, including them in your life can change you forever.