1. I was a college intern working in a rather tall building when the attacks happened and I remember all of us clustering around a cubicle and watching a tiny TV in shock. Then we started to worry that the attack would happen everywhere, which seems irrational now but at the time it made sense, and this sense of wanting to do something more with my life, to be there and help was overwhelming. I can definitely say that my career plans were shaped a bit more and I don't think I'd be doing exactly what I'm doing if it wasn't for that date.
2. I think I used to pay attention to world news sort of more out of curiosity really and not quite realizing how good we have it here. Every day it seems somewhere, some poor people are getting bombed, and yet when it happens in your back-yard it's a whole different thing all together. It's closer. Maybe too close. The other day it was raining really hard and I stood on the front porch waiting on Hubby to come in from the back with the toddler in tow and I was all amused at the lightening until it struck a tree down the street, literally, down the street. The sound was so deafening and unreal that I felt it in my bones and suddenly realized how terribly dangerous lightening could be and I started frantically pounding on the door like a scared kid. It was like, suddenly, the violence, was way too close.
3. Going to downtown areas with big huge buildings still makes me a bit nervous, which sort of stinks now that my new office is actually downtown. I used to work on the outer part where I could just see the happy skyline and be oblivious. Of course it comes back to: why on Earth would anyone attack here?? How do people live in New York though I wonder.
4. Right after the attacks a friend of mine who is Muslim was very concerned for his family because they had been visiting him and they were now stranded and not able to make it back to Iraq, where they lived. It hadn't occurred to me to think about the other side until he started to talk about how he had almost been beat up twice already, which sort of made me sad. It can be hard I think to see the other side at times when you're so stirred up with emotion and it's all so raw and I don't understand a single whit what those maniacs did but I did have compassion for Muslims in America after the attacks because I think it was probably a hard road to walk for a while.
5. I don't think I quite had a strong sense of belonging to my country until after that day, which sounds silly, but I was just coming out of the early college years and becoming independent and so the thought of belonging hadn't yet sunk in. I staked my claim though at some point, even though yes I think our country is flawed at points I'm glad to live here and be an American and at some point you have to choose a side and decide to fight for something. Or at least be willing to.
I wonder sometimes what I will tell my children when they get older. I wonder even more, with trembling a bit, what event will shape their lives. For my generation this is definitely one of, if not the biggest, things to happen while we are alive. I hope, sincerely, that there will be more good moments than bad ones. Now, it's just way too soon of course. I tried to explain to Kaiya why it President Obama getting elected was significant and she just patted my leg and went back to playing. Though this whole post has been a bit egocentric I realize I do wonder sometimes if I would even have Kaiya if it hadn't been for that fated day. Because I think more than anything it made me grow up a bit more, as painful as it was.