Every once in a while, you will be forced to make a split-second decision about what's important. In these moments, you instinctively know what to do. Where your priorities lie.
Last Friday, I was driving to work the same way I always do; same route, same true crime podcast playing through the speakers. As I was approaching 1st and Washington, I saw that the intersection was blocked by a three-car accident and knew I'd have to detour. I carefully drove around the vehicle debris and took a little peek (OBVIOUSLY) and that's when I noticed a familiar hair bun above a puffy black Patagonia jacket.
My car was parked in a lot and I was halfway across the intersection before I even considered the idea that maybe my best friend was just a witness. All I knew for sure was that there was an accident and someone very important to me was involved. But I recognized the stickers on the back windshield of the car smushed in the middle and my heart relocated itself to somewhere near my intestines. It took all I had not to tackle my friend to the ground as I reached her and somehow managed "ohmygodareyouokaypleasetellmeyouareokay" (because I have a dumb defective heart and running is soooo not my strong suit).
After verifying that my friend was in one piece and hugging her about six thousand times, I immediately took action. I knew that I had to get someone into work to cover my shift, let my supervisors know the situation and that neither of us (thank the STARS that we live next to each other and work in the same place, or I would never have seen that accident) would be coming in that day, and then do whatever I had to to take care of my friend.
My people have always been my priority.
I admittedly don't have a lot of people, but I would do anything for the ones that I care for. I truly felt bad for calling out of work last minute, but my friend needed me. Beyond a ride to the urgent care and the pharmacy and making sure she took her pain medications on schedule. Beyond a potential medical emergency, panic attack, or insurance mishap. She had just experienced an exhausting and traumatic ordeal and I was going to be there for her, whatever the reason. Hell, if she woke up from a nap and wanted Cheetos, I was going to be right back with four different kinds.
My decision was not accepted without question. I was asked if I would be coming into work once the accident was cleared up. There were apparently musings in the office as to why I couldn't come into work if my friend was "okay" (read: not in the hospital).
It was both not a choice at all, and a choice I will defend until the end of my days. Love and support your people. They'll be there for you when you need them.
** Super big thanks to the coworker who covered for me at work and the supervisor who understood that we need to take care of our people. You guys rock hella hard 🤘