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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thoughts on the eve of 9/11

I don't remember what I was thinking when I went to bed on September 10, 2001.  Probably about the stock market that was not looking so good or maybe my wedding that was 5 weeks later or maybe how was I going to pay for a wedding with the stock market not looking so good.  Probably that last one.

Then, as many people on the West Coast, I awoke to a new world.  I was terrified for my friends in New York- were they okay?  Were their families okay?  What had happened?  Was it widespread?  What do I do?  Do I go to work?  Do I stay home and watch the news?  Are my clients okay?  Who did this?  Why did they do it?

Fear.  Panic. Love.  Anger.

Every emotion.

I didn't know anyone who died.  I had friends in the towers that got out- more like acquaintances- people from classes in college that were nice.  In fact, I didn't even know people who knew people who died.

My cousin who worked in the Pentagon had had his office moved the day before-- otherwise---  well...  But to be honest, we weren't nearly as close as we are now.  I hadn't met his wife yet-- she's now one of my all time favorite people.  In a flash, they can both go back to that moment and you can see how terrifying it was.  I cannot pretend to understand.

I watched it from a couch in Las Vegas, NV.  Then I went to work numb.  No one knew what to do. 

It felt hopeless.

It felt terrifying.

I vowed to be a better person. I vowed to be more grateful.  I vowed to be engaged in the world more- to make a difference.

Thirteen years later... well... two kids... we're building a house... I just seem so tired...

And the world is even angrier it seems.

For awhile, I thought we might have healed.  Then it was gone.

Us against Them became Us against Us.

On 9/11 I try to go back to that place in my heart- the place of sheer despair that made me want to be a better person- make a better world.

I try to be grateful for the amazing life I have.

And it is amazing.

I have a beautiful, healthy family.  I am absolutely in love with my husband.  I have a career that is fulfilling.

There is nothing that I want or need.

There's a part of me that gets angry that people seem to have forgotten 9/11.  But there's also this part of me that is somewhat glad-- it means the terrorists didn't win.  They didn't destroy us.  They didn't ruin us.

We move forward.

That's the only option.

And we take a part of it with us.  And it becomes part of us.

Tomorrow I will pause and remember.  I will be grateful. 

And then I will go to work.

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