It seems only fitting that today be the day that I take a moment to write my thoughts down. To reflect upon the last couple of weeks, months and decades. I am surprised to find myself feeling a bit anxious as I sit down to write this blog. My heart is a little racy and my head feels a little funny. Maybe it's because this is my first time I'm remembering "out loud," sharing my thoughts and feelings with more then just a few people. Not just about what happened on September 11, 2001, but what has and is happening before it and since. Maybe it's the act of opening myself up to feel too much. Or that for some reason, I am still here and others are not. I'm not quite sure, but I have been having a lot of feelings leading to this day and this post.
I have to take a short dive into the more recent past. For the last 2+ weeks I have been avoiding social media, writing, sharing my thoughts...If I'm honest, I've been avoiding people in general. I have been reflecting on the why and what started it. This behavior isn't abnormal for me. My tendency to "hermit up" is usually emotional trauma related. It took me a moment to realize that the cause was doing my "World check in". I try to stay off of the news, but I always check in on World news every week or two. My ex-husband, and best friend used to roll their eyes at me when I didn't know the recent drama in the news, or some terrible story of the week, but what I have grown to understand is that my emotional and mental health rely on that bubble I mostly live in. Any other empathic, highly sensitive people out there will understand this.
The problem with my bubble is that I genuinely care about and love people. I want to be a contributing factor to the solutions, not the problems, and there lies finding a balance of being informed and not wanting to curl up in a hole. One thing that makes finding this balance difficult, is our highly sensitive, empathic, curious, caring 3 year old daughter. She is only 3. Emotions in general are big for her. She is no where near learning how to create boundaries to insulate her from other people's energy and feelings, which means I have been working super hard on reinforcing mine. Which sometimes leads to detachment, because it's the last tool I have. So last weekend when we walked through Easton, PA. during a Never Forget event, there were firetrucks, fireman, police officers, a traveling museum...She had a lot of questions. We were doing a lot that day, there was enough distraction for our conversation to end on her accepting that there was an accident where planes crashed into buildings. Our daughter, however is incredibly thoughtful, and way beyond her years. For the last two days she has been asking me to, "...talk about the planes that had an accident with the buildings." I struggled. Chris and I have always said that we would not lie to her about things and would try to explain them to her in the best way possible with out veering away from the truth. I struggled to find the right words to explain terrorism, why anyone would try to hurt another person, and take their life. I struggled because I don't have the answers, I don't know why, it is beyond my mind and hearts ability to comprehend, we don't even kill bugs in our house, but I also knew it was important that I not glaze over what happened. What still happens. Some people choose hate and hurt over love and healing. These are things I don't want to explain to my 3 year old whose heart is so filled with love, but I have been trying to for 3 days. It's an incredibly fine line, it upsets her to hear about someone being hurt. She has an uncanny positive acceptance of death. It's unsettling, and beautiful, and untainted and I hope she retains it through life, but sadness and pain...they hurt her.
I have been meditating on this, staying awake at night thinking about it, and honestly for the last few weeks that I regrettably dove back into the news, I've tried to form the words to share. As it got closer and closer to approaching this heart wrenching day in history, it also brought memories of how humanity came together, our country came together, the whole world did. It dropped boundaries, and judgments, and isolated perceptions to be replaced with a beautiful kind of unity. Which led me to remembering the beginning of the pandemic and how that did the same. People got out of the comfort zones to do new things, to help people. States passed on supplies when they didn't have as much of a need and sent it to states that did, nurses and doctors travelled the country and World supporting areas with the most need. Scientist dropped their strong attachment to intellectual property to work together and find solutions. Out of devastation came beauty, unity, and humanity... but where did it go?? And, why was it so short lived?? A virus, say it out loud with me, a virus has polarized our country and world. The truth of the matter is that, it isn't the virus. It isn't politics, it isn't world leaders, it isn't any one group or thing... it is US, all of us.
We are turning a blind eye on those in need, both in our own backyard and across the globe, and we have been. We walk by people in need with out offering help. We would rather look down at our phone to watch strangers, instead of smiling and saying hello to the one we are walking past. We watch someone being hurt and instead of using our phone to call 911, we pick it up and video it happening. We don't know our neighbors, but we talk poorly about them. We are destroying the very planet that we live on, and think someone else is going to fix it. . We have taught our children to be mean and entitled instead of kind and independent. We have taught our kids that value comes from others and not from within. We have forgotten not only how to enjoy each other, but how to find joy with oneself. We say we believe in God and then cast judgement for him. We wrap ourselves in isolated beliefs out of our very own fears and then drown others in them. We live in a world of complete judgement of others, but zero reflection of self... Each and everyone one of us holds responsibility for where we are and are not, as a united people. These last few weeks leading up to today have been trying for me. I feel anger and hurt. 20 years ago today I was supposed to be at One World Trade Center planning activities for our 2002 wedding weekend and my ex-husband was supposed to be heading into midtown for an interview. I forgot something that morning and we were running 30 minutes behind. If we were on time that morning I wouldn't be here writing this blog. What we experienced that morning will never be forgotten to me. No one knew what was happening, Brad and I were in traffic driving into the Holland Tunnel when the first plane hit. We both noticed a low plane and thought, "that's weird," but nothing more. We thought there was a fire, and even then the gravity didn't sink in. We heard people calling into radio stations to try to reach loved ones. We were rerouted as all of the bridges and tunnels were closing one by one so we pulled off on the side of the road, just on the other side of the Hudson River, in overwhelmed awe of what we now knew was a plane in the trade center, and then another. It is hard for me to comprehend the timeline that it all happened because when it was happening it felt like brief moments. We watched both towers collapse. We stood there crying together. I will never un-see, un-hear, and un-feel that day. We drove back home, in a vacillation of shock and panic, we couldn't reach family to tell them we were ok, and then we couldn't reach family and friends working in or near all of the plane crashes. By the time we got back home, we had finally reached everyone. I remember telling Brad I couldn't watch the news. We went for a long drive and walk along the Delaware and just felt empty.
I will never forget that day, the heartache, the loss, the devastation that still comes from it today. My heart goes out to every family that was effected by that day. I also won't ever forget that life is a gift, we should honor each moment. I won't forget that out of devastation brought some of the very best out of humanity. We "Never Forget" this day, by being part of the solutions, living our best life in love and kindness, and in honor of all that were hurt and lost.
Sending so much love and peace to everyone today.