I have always believed that every person lives many lives. Each one is a period in a person’s lifetime, characterized by the people one meets, jobs, travels, and many other experiences. The transition between one life to another is marked by a significant event.
My first life finished on August 17th, 2005. I was backpacking across Europe when, in Gdansk, a small city in northern Poland, I had a terrible accident: while diving, I broke my neck. When the first vertebra was shattered into three parts, the worst, and probably most important, experience in my life began. After a couple of years, I understood that breaking my neck was a turning point in my life, which shaped the person I have become. On the contrary, at that moment it seemed the end of my life. An awful end.
Backpacking across Europe was a dream come true. I had worked as a waiter for months to save the money needed for that trip, and travelling alone was a new and exciting challenge. Before Gdansk, I had been in Venice, Budapest, Bratislava, Warsaw, and other places. Next stop would have been Prague. Instead, I spent nearly one and a half months bedridden in a Polish hospital, in Gdansk, and it took me over one year to recover from the fracture.
I am hazy about what happened immediately after the accident, while my memories of the following months are vivid. When the doctor told me “It is a miracle. I cannot use another word. Accidents like the one you suffered usually kill people, or render them quadriplegic. You are a lucky guy!”, my life completely changed. Something was triggered in me. Something new.
Till that moment, I had only been interested in parties, girls, and playing rugby. Moreover, the relationships with my family were conflicting: we rarely talked to each other and the fault was mainly mine. The first gift the accident gave me was my family. From then on, we started to act as a real family, sharing feelings, ideas, having meaningful talks together. For the first time, I opened my heart to my parents and my brother, and I discovered wonderful...