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.
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.