10 years

The year 1997 is arguably the single year so far that has made the most profound impact on my life for two main reasons:

The 10 year anniversary of the first reason is tomorrow - Martin Luther King Jr. Day. At the age of 19, I was in a brutal car accident (my fault), that caved in the left side of my face - luckily, no one else was hurt. My cheekbone was crushed and I was missing a quarter-size piece of skin. I now am the proud possessor of a titanium cheekbone (no, it doesn't set off airport security). Because the plastic surgeon had to stretch the skin to compensate for the missing chunk, my face is not very symmetrical: the left side is considerably less fleshy than the right. He offered to do a skin transplant from my neck, but I declined, since that would have involved growing a bubble on my neck, and I was scarred enough as it was. The stitches were pretty impressive! Interestingly, most people don't even notice my scar (at least they SAY they don't!), but whenever I see photos of myself, I can't believe they don't see it. Maybe the flash brings out the shadows more. Anyway, I did a self-portrait for my year in pictures and, partially due to my glasses, it looks like I have a huge dent on the left side of my head:

That car accident was a definite wake up call for me - it made me analyze many of the relationships I had and decisions I had made. I realized it was time to grow up...and I did.

That led to the second life-changing event - that summer, I started dating the man who is now my husband. We had been friends that whole year, but it wasn't until after the maturing effect of my accident that I fell in love with him, and I know he was not attracted to me at all until I figured a few things out.

I really believe that those events ten years ago put me on the path to becoming the person I am today. Even though the accident was one of the most traumatic events of my life, I wouldn't change it for the world. Sometimes, you need a good knock on the head to realize that you need to make some changes. And I'm really happy with the way it turned out - scarred face and all.


  1. Hi Anali

    For what it's worth, in all the years I've known you, I've never ever noticed that. You are brave as heck for writing about this, it's totally inspiring. And I love that you took the time to share this reflection with us!

    Nick L.

  2. Hi Anali.

    I also have never noticed it. Of course, I'm not always super-observant here. But excellent taking stock journal entry and you've done it in a frank and honest way. Brava.


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