You can replace a car, not your life.

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Today looked like it was going to be a really great day. My brother Alex had purchased VIP tickets for himself and I to Summer Slaughter at the Grove in Anaheim. We were extremely excited to go out today and see a ton of different bands; Erra in particular for myself.

We had thought about taking an Uber to get there but then we decided that we weren’t going to drink and we would rather not pay the cost so we decided to drive. I took my new M4 out for the trip. We are just cruising along going down the Freeway, minding our own business when I see a Cadillac CTS in front of me hit the brakes. And I see that it hit the brakes hard, so I do the same. Now, I had been following behind it at a safe distance so slowing down was not a problem for me.

But then we saw the ford van in our rearview. Time slowed down. And we knew.

BAM

Direct impact. Right into our rear bumper. We both feel the jerk. But then,

BAM

Another impact. Right into the Cadillac in front of us.

It all happened so fast. All I knew was that I had just been in my first car accident. Alex and I get out of the car immediately, the other drivers and passengers are getting out too, and we are all looking to see if we are all okay.

The woman in front of me is at first upset thinking that I crashed into her, but then the man from behind quickly informs us all that it was his fault as he crashed into us which then pushed us into the Cadillac in front of us. The man claimed that another car had cut him off which caused him to swerve into the carpool lane and then his brakes locked up and he crashed into us.

Who knows. He may be telling the truth, he may not be. All that we do know for certain is that he was driving by himself in the carpool lane and he was the one that caused the accident.

We exchanged licenses and insurance and soon the cops were on the scene. They took everyone’s information and filed a report. My car was the worst off as it was the bumper car in the middle of the accident. The front bumper of the Van rammed into the rear bumper of my M4 which caused my front bumper to ram into the rear bumper of the Cadillac.

That’s a good amount of body damage.

But there was more. My car wouldn’t start. I tried to turn it back on, but all the lights, especially the engine light was on and that car would not turn back on. Smoke was even coming out of my air vents for a little bit. Not a good sign. Next a tow truck came to move it to the other side of the freeway out of the carpool lane, and then the highway patrol took everyone’s information and compiled a report. Soon enough the big tow truck was here, yes we had to wait for another one, the first one was only to just clear the road out, but eventually we were on our merry way to drop my most likely totaled car off at a collision repair shop.

And man it sure looks like toast to be honest.

And it is a shame because I just bought it only a few weeks ago! I don’t even have my license plates for the car yet. Come on give me a break. But at the end of the day, the whole incident really hit home to me and it taught me a valuable lesson.

You can replace cars, but you cannot replace your life.

Sure I am disappointed that my car is wrecked, and that Alex and I missed our metal show, but we have to be so thankful for that we are alive. The police who we spoke with made it clear that our situation was one of the better accidents that they have seen, of which they come across regularly. One officer remarked that seeing the car messed up was much better than seeing brains on the pavement.

And he is right. Today I have to thank God that I am alright and that my brother and I seem to be okay. I am sure tomorrow we are going to really feel it as the adrenaline will be all gone and only then will we know how we will truly be feeling.

Regardless we didn’t die. And I also have to thank BMW for designing a safe car. I mean we got hit today. The impacts that we felt were real, and they were forceful. I know that I can without a doubt stand behind the BMW brand completely now. I have seen all angles of their cars. Their style, their performance, and now their safety. If we were in my girl’s car, a fiat 500, we would not be in so great of a condition I can tell you that much right now. The fact that the M4 Coupe is a longer body I think allowed for the impact to accordion throughout the vehicle and absorb damage without truly endangering my brother and I.

And for real, the Van was in fine shape. Big cars can really take a hit. It would have even been safer to drive an SUV. Think about that next time you are buying a car. Sure, you are going to spend more money on gas, but if you get in an accident you are going to be as safe as you can possibly get. And remember, money comes and goes, but your life just goes.

As far as we know you only get one, so be thankful for the one you have, and remember to keep things in perspective. Even though I just got a new BMW, and it was without a doubt the nicest car I have ever been in, it really isn’t worth getting all worked up about. Because that car is replaceable. Even if it ends up costing money, whatever. I can get more money. I can’t get another life.

And I know this is something that everyone reading this probably understands, but trust me experiencing an event like this is different. I was a philosophy major, my whole education has to been to think. Many times I understand things rationally, but it isn’t until I actually experience the events for myself that I can say I truly know. Now after today, I truly know that you can replace cars, yes even expensive ones like BMWs, but not your life.

I want to end this post by asking the reader to reflect. How do you drive? Do you unnecessarily speed? Do you weave between lanes? Do you tailgate people? God forbid to you play with your phone? Or Text and drive?

Please, remember that you are not on the road alone. Your actions can literally be the deciding factor between life and death. Be safe out there on the road. Not just for yourself, but also for others. I am a safe driver, and I have never been issued a speeding ticket in my life or any kind of moving violation, but that did not prevent me from getting into a car accident.

These kinds of events are just not always up to you.

Please, be safe and courteous when you drive. And for god’s sake. Don’t ride a motorcycle. We would be dead right now if we were on one today.

 

-Nolan

Chugging along

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I find that in life it is important to keep moving. Just don’t stop, just keep chugging along. Sometimes there are good days, sometimes there are alright days, and sometimes there are bad days. The bad days are the ones to really focus on here. Or rather I should say, not focus on.

I think people, and myself as well, too often focus on something bad that happened and make it seem like its going to be the worst thing in the world. But really, often it is not that bad and it also is usually a stand-alone event. Meaning, it is not a pattern. If bad events don’t happen regularly then you are very fortunate.

Think about that. I am not saying that bad things won’t happen to you. They do and they will. Because this is the case it is good to mentally prepare yourself for when they will happen. If you know they are going to occur try to use this knowledge and take them with a grain of salt. If you get knocked down just get back up and keep on walking. Don’t let one unfortunate event get you down.

Just keep chugging along.

Now, sometimes there is a pattern of bad events, in which case that is a whole different story. But even then it is still best to keep chugging along, albeit maybe in a new direction haha!

Nevertheless the moral of my post today is pretty simple and that it is to be tough and to be determined. If you have a goal, or are looking towards something start working towards it. And don’t stop. Things will get in the way, some days will be better than others, but that is all part of it. And when you finally chug along so much that you reach your destination, it is going to feel amazing.

Because you suffered to get there. If it was easy, and if you didn’t have any stumbling blocks then it wasn’t ever hard to achieve to begin with. Then it was no big deal.

But when you chug along through all the bullshit then the triumph is more than worth it. So remember, just keep on chugging along.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

“You are too valuable to die”

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A little over a month ago I almost bought a motorcycle. The owner of a restaurant that I do some work for had a regular that was the manager of BMW motorcycles in Long Beach. Naturally as I work for BMW currently I was very intrigued and started looking into them.

And man, they sure are cool. They had all these different designs, with different colors, and honestly the BMW motorcycles look extremely nice. If I was to ever buy one, it would be a BMW motorcycle.

But I didn’t. Everyone in my life immediately steered me away from the purchase, even those that I thought would not. Dan and Koji, two of my dads, quickly informed to me how dangerous they were. Koji told me “you are too valuable to die.” Dan didn’t even bother with that. He said “I will poison your motorcycle. You can go ahead and buy it, but just know that it will never work.”

And I didn’t even bother asking my blood father as I already knew the answer there. He might rather have me smoke than ride a bike; and he hates smoking.

Everyone in my life told me it was a bad idea. Even some of my close friends my age. And you know we are all young guys, living fast (or kind of at least) so you might think that they would encourage me to get a bad-ass bike. Nope. They told me the story of when our friend Hunter got his bike and crashed it on the first day. He only broke his foot; he got lucky.

Today life hit hard. I was chatting and smiling with another co-worker as I was solving my Rubik’s cube during some downtime, when all of a sudden another co-worker of ours gets a phone call. He was clearly shook up. All he says is “my son was killed.”

Today life hit hard.

His son-in law, out in Montana, was riding his motorcycle and was struck by another vehicle. None of us know the details yet but it unfortunately sounds like the classic tragedy. It probably was not the son-in law’s fault, but rather the fault of the vehicle driver. Unfortunately in a motorcycle you have no armor in the event of a collision.

Everyone is too valuable to die, especially when they are young. And especially when they have a wife with a kid on the way.

Today life hit hard.

Don’t ride motorcycles. Just don’t. They are simply too dangerous. And not because of the motorcycle drivers, but because of all the other dumb-asses on the road. The people texting while driving, the drunk drivers, the people falling asleep at the wheel, the bad drivers, and more. But those people have protection in their cars, and if you are in a car you have protection too. Now car accidents are dangerous too, but not nearly as life-threatening as motorcycle accidents.

Just don’t ride motorcycles. It’s not worth it. You are too valuable to die.

 

-Nolan

You never know who you might run into

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Tonight was a good night. It was a normal night. I got off work and then I went over to eat at my favorite restaurant Ryo Zan Paku with my brother Alex. We were having a great time when this man came in with his family.

I could see he really liked the restaurant as he was instagramming it. I work a little bit it at the restaurant for the owner, so naturally I introduced myself to him and we started talking.

He ended up living in the same neighborhood as my brother and I and then additionally was very into cars. (Owns a Lambo) In fact he might end up coming by my dealership to take a test drive one of these days. Very cool!

You really never know who you might meet, so it is always good to extend yourself to everyone. You just might make a friend, or a business partner, or at the very least a great conversation and experience.

So what do you have to lose by just extending yourself and saying a few words? Absolutely nothing, but so much to gain.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan