The Case of the Unidentified Flying Hubcap

So last Wednesday I was rushing out to my car with coffee, tote, and purse in hand, ready to go to work, when I came across this as I rounded the back of my car:

hubcap

Not entirely sure how this was possible, I bewilderingly snapped a picture of it.

The weird thing is, I should have been angry, but I found myself feeling guilty instead. I’m a cautious person. I’m a planner. Despite making my share of “oops moments,” I try to learn from every mistake and prepare for the future. Then here was this thing that happened out of nowhere that I had not prepared for. I felt even worse after I called my insurance and realized it wasn’t covered, and realized there were no cameras around to catch the culprit. How could I have been so stupid?

Sure, there is a case for hindsight (Insurance plan upgrade: check. Parking off the road? Working on it.) The thing I think I learned the most, though, is that sometimes, things just happen. Life is full of UFHs -Unidentified-Flying-Hubcaps- and no matter how much we plan and prepare for them, they happen anyway. When we continuously look for a deeper meaning (as I always do), we run the risk of denying ourselves the right to feel what we need to feel.

Sometimes there is a deeper meaning. I believe that we are a small part of a much larger and more meaningful picture. But I also believe that sometimes, hubcaps are just hubcaps. Recent events have made that even more clear to me. And isn’t that just terrifying? Whether it be from a rapist or a shooter or an alligator or an amoeba, sometimes absolutely horrific things happen to good people. 

Why, then, do we try to blame the victim in these circumstances? I think it is much easier to assume that person did something wrong than to realize that something horrific could happen to us. It must have been that person’s fault, right? Because they misread a sign, or looked away for two seconds, or weren’t a good person deep-down, or were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or blinked, or ate cheese that morning, or slept on their right side instead of their left. All smart people know that if you sleep on your left side instead of your right, your chances of being consumed by a random swarm of purple locust significantly decrease. Right?

I have unsettling news for you. Even if you dot all your “i”s and cross all your “t”s, if you are a good person, if you pray and go to church every single Sunday, if you never blink, if you have an emergency savings that Dave Ramsey would balk at, if you are a vegan, organic, gluten-free, mace-carrying hyper-vigilant super-ninja, something terrible may still happen to you anyway. Life happens.

Why does this matter? Because I grew up believing that bad things did not happen to good people. Then my mother, aunt, and grandmother died when I was in high school. We need to think about what lessons we teach our children.

So, if you find yourself a victim of UFH’s in your own life today, I urge you to go easy on yourself. Don’t blame the victim, even if that victim is you. Hubcaps fall out of the sky, but you are still awesome. Rock on.

Oh, and worried about the car? No worries, my hubby fixed it:

nohubcap

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