I do my best to avoid disaster all together. I am an over-planner, over-thinker, and over-packer. I'm the kind of person who carries a huge handbag so I can stuff it with all kinds of useless things. Remember that one time four years ago when you were on a plane and nearly ran out of chapstick? You had to dig out the little bit around the inside edges with your pinky nail, and it wasn't nearly as soothing as smearing it on from the holder. Now I carry a back up so I never have to worry about running out of lip balm again.
But no matter how much I pack or plan, there are some disasters that even I can't control. I was on my own for the first time after college, living on the other side of the country from my parents. I had a job, albeit, not a good one, an apartment, I was making friends and of course, digging my way into debt. I knew I needed a second job, but I wasn't ready to give up my nights and weekends just yet. My car was paid off, so that was a load off of expenses and my parents still had it under their insurance.
They were working on an intersection downtown and forgot to put up a stop sign. I hit the back end of a truck twice the size of my little car and that was it. (No one was injured thank goodness). Already living beyond my means, I had to add a car payment and insurance to my overtapped budget. It was time to sell my soul for minimum wage.
Since I'd worked as a barista through college, I crawled my way into Starbuck's and filled out an application. I was hired, and had to work nights until twelve and then get up for my day job at seven, and back to Starbuck's right afterward. I also got the priveledge of opening on Saturdays at five-thirty a.m. And it was the best thing that could have possibly happened to me.
I got my finances back in shape and met two of my best friends, one of which introduced me to another friend, and I met my husband at her New Year's party. All of this happened because of a car accident.
Some tragedies are, of course, still tragic and no one wants to get into a car accident, but some things, like having your first or even second manuscript rejected could be that one unfortunate turning point that leads you on to greater things.