Control the Controllable


Grant Sirlin, Staff Writer

Serious injuries can be demoralizing. In just an instant, the flow of life can come to a halt and the near future can quickly become out of reach. Even though you were just battling for a rebound in the heat of the FCIAC championship game, or driving home from a fantastic lunch with your girlfriend, your world is now fragmented.


In my case, the latter is reality.


A month ago, I never expected to be writing this piece, or to have had the horrific experiences that I went through. A month ago, I was focused on the present, living my life like a normal teenager and overwhelmed with the stresses of junior year.


I never looked beyond the week ahead of me, let alone the day ahead. I would stress the night before a big AP calculus exam, because if I screwed up the test, it could damage my average for the whole quarter, or even my year. I stressed about the grade I needed, rather than my actual performance.


But soon later, my near future was wrecked by an oncoming car that barreled two feet deep into my side of the car. I was sitting in the passenger seat, helplessly watching as the car plowed into us. I had nothing to do with the accident; it wasn’t my fault by any measure but I suffered the consequences.


Looking back, it’s infuriating that I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. I was stripped of my everyday life for nearly a month, and it wasn’t even because of my own actions.


Since my world was shaken up, I’ve noticed that my values have changed. What good does it do to worry about things that are out of our hands? Why should a soccer team spend a second worrying about their opponent?


In a society where people place a priority on the perceptions of others, it’s impossible to remember what’s most important.


We can only control what it in our own hands, and dictate the nuances of our own lives.


Rather than focus on the grade we need to get on a test, why not focus on our mindset or preparation that can lead us to that result?


It’s impossible to control the uncontrollable, so let’s measure success by our own satisfaction.


For me, the daily stresses are less important now, I’m just grateful to be here for the ride.