I always envisioned that my version of “smashing into a tree” would be medically related. Something where I’d be inflicted with some preventable disease, as my body’s way of retaliating against my poor decisions. I never thought I would find myself staring down the barrel of a ill-timed checkpoint, without the proper credentials to justify why I’m behind the wheel.

I saw it coming, a few blocks away but was unable to avoid it. My mind couldn’t keep up with the speed that I was driving and thanks to some bad case of luck, adverting would have only added suspicion to my existing guilt. It wasn’t an OMG moment. It was an OMFG moment.

I’d love to assume to role of victim. “Poor me. Why is this happening?” In the longest 5 minutes I’ve ever experienced, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I was not sure how to slink out of this one. I was always clever, to an extent, and I couldn’t help but wonder if my karma had caught up to me.

I’m usually very conscious of my karma. I’m polite, generally. I say thank you. I hold the door open for strangers even when they slam it in my face. I’m usually on the right side of good and not because I want the good karma but because it’s the right thing to do. Yet today was full of wrong energy and it culminated in a not so random checkpoint.

Initially I thought it was an accident. Perhaps this is where my bad thoughts bit me in the ass. I hoped that an accident was the reason for the blue flashing lights. Then I saw what looked like a NJ version of border control, with Jose, Pablo and Tito all cuffed up on the floor wondering why they stepped out of their house that fateful night.

I don’t believe in accident. Life is pretty calculating. I arrived on time to catch my bus but it was late. Then there was a detour on the highway. I caught most lights. I did most of what I was supposed to do except get my driver’s license, a decision that will cloud my entire weekend.

Checkpoint. The irony was deafening. Tonight I needed to check myself. I knew a change was in the horizon but tonight I was bitch slapped by the universe to check where I am and how I will get to where I want to be.

It only took a moment. A long painful moment.

“Hi, Ma’am. Keep going.”

I said thank you and went along my way.

Well played universe. Your bluff will not go in vain.

Not everyone needs to literally smash into a tree. Some smash into a life-changing checkpoint.

First thing Monday morning – DMV.