I was already doing some serious partying before he got killed (after all, it was senior year. I had to go out with a bang), so this just magnified it. The 27-nights-in-a-row marathon of going out to bars or parties. The day before he got killed, I welcomed 2 new sisters to my sorority with a fifth of Absolut at a nearby fraternity house.(they drank about 1/8th of the bottle...guess who drank the rest, partied with the fraternity boys until 5am and was massively hungover the next day?)
I was angry at the situation as well. This was some serious bullshit, life. My nephew was awesome. He was a decent student, he was becoming a star athlete, he was active in his church & even a youth leader. Really?!!? This is how life goes?!?! Do everything right, be a good person and die in a car wreck at 16?!?! (At least that is how I saw it at the time). At the same time, I had this perfect plan in place for my life....I was getting better grades than I was at my former school, I was the top tennis player at the school and looking to follow up awesome year I had before (all-conference in both singles & doubles, academic all-american nominee) and I had a great boyfriend (albeit 6 hrs away at another school & before the internet really took off, so lots of letter writing). The plan was be awesome at tennis, get a nice little starter job lined up out of college, get engaged, live happily ever after like a Disney princess.
My anger led to an attitude of "fuck it, you're just going to die anyway". I would go on runs in thunderstorms not caring if I got hit by a car, not caring if I got hurt or struck by lightning. I also decided to experiment with some drugs here and there. (mostly weed, but some harder stuff too)..."fuck it, you're just going to die anyway". I'm pretty sure that my tennis coach knew I was still drunk/high on shrooms when i showed up at a 6am tennis practice convinced that the mascot painted on the wall of the gym was chasing me around it (side note: that was probably the fastest I ever ran laps. I'm not known for my speed now or then)
I'm sure teammates tried to save me ratting me out for partying, getting me suspended from the team for a couple exhibition matches (I almost got completely booted from our spring break trip, but I think I begged my way into going). I'd say to myself at the time "stupid bitch...she only ratted me out because she wants to be the star of the team & she knows this is the only way because she can't really beat me. She got lucky that 1 time she beat me". I think my coach tried to save me by sitting my ass and making me re-earn my #1 spot after losing it (I did, but i didn't train hard enough, got injured and while I still made all-conference again, I missed nationals by 1 hard-fought match played about a mile from where my nephew was killed. talk about heartbreaking). He'd sit me down in his office and ask me how I was or if I wanted to talk about it. I'd convince him I'm fine all the time saying to myself "why the fuck do I want to talk? No one can answer the questions I have about this whole fucking mess? Can you tell me why? no, so leave me the hell alone and get out of my business" My sorority sisters tried to save me (some of them were teammates as well) by telling me to stay away from the guy who I eventually cheated on my boyfriend with "yeah yeah, whatever...at least this guy is paying attention to me. My boyfriend is 6 hours away & he's dealing with his own grief." (he was going through the same thing after losing his 13-yr old sister in a car wreck about 5 months before my nephew's accident)
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time”. I wasn't listening to anyone.
I had to do this on my own & one July 1997 morning....about 2 months after I graduated & 7 months after his accident....I did. I just woke up to this epiphany of "your freaking nephew wouldn't want you living your life this way", but by then....all was lost. College was done, I'd damaged some friendships with some sorority sisters that I don't think will ever be mended, the loving boyfriend gone (though he did forgive me, we were never able to reconcile) & well, my job prospects sucked.
Time to follow dreams like my nephew was never going to get to do....you know, I really don't want to have any regrets about my modeling aspirations I gave up at 17 to play tennis in college...let's see how that goes for a couple years here in Ohio...
it's 2014, I'm in Hollywood and yesterday i was just on set for yet another commercial....and came home to a loving boyfriend (different one, but equally loving).