Zaina Adamu considers herself an artist who paints pictures with words. She’s a first-generation Ghanaian-American who was born and raised in New York. She’s been writing since she was a kid but fell in love with news writing in college and decided to become a journalist. Since then, she’s won numerous awards including a shared Peabody award and was recently honored as one of the nation’s Power 30 under 30.In her spare time she likes to run, dine, watch football (Go Ravens) and travel. She is currently in the process of writing her first novella.She holds a Bachelors of Art in English and Journalism from Morgan State University and currently resides in Atlanta.
June 8, 2014 wasn’t one of my finer days. But as the day drew to a close, I promised myself that tomorrow would be better. I woke up earlier than normal the next morning. I felt refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to reclaim my spirit. I hopped in my car and pulled off knowing it would be an incredible day.
Then things took a turn for the worst.
I was admiring the sun rising over the Atlanta skyline on I-75 Southbound, when suddenly my tire blew. Can you imagine what it feels like going 80 mph and your car suddenly spins out of control while Mac trucks whiz by? It’s not fun.
The whole experience took three seconds but there had to have been more than a million emotions running through me. The strongest emotion I felt, though, was calm. I told myself: “Zaina, slow down, regain control, turn on the hazard lights and get in the emergency lane.
I called my boss at work who told me about “HERO” (They are amazing. In an emergency, just call 511 then press 1.)
They came about half an hour later—but seconds before they, did an angel came. A man saw me stranded and pulled over. He changed my tire and refused the money I offered. We exchanged cards and he pulled off.
Here’s the first lesson: Slow down. My life has been a whirlwind these past couple of months. Between work (two jobs), volunteering, coaching, moving to a new place, dinner parties, weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc…I literally don’t have time to breathe some days. I have to tell myself that it’s okay to say no once in a while—for my own benefit.
Second: Changing a spare tire for someone probably seems like a quick, five-minute task for some, but the impact it has on the person you helped will remain for life. If you can, always offer to help someone in need—even if you know you will never get anything in return.
Finally: Life is like a car. When life spins out of control. Keep your composure, find safety, fix the problem then continue driving. The car will be just fine and so will you.
I dedicate this article to Mr. Andrew, the man who saved me on I-75S, June 9, 2014.
The following quote was on his business card: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”