Last night, I slept at my cousin’s apartment which happens to be right next to the 9/11 Memorial. Even at 10pm last night, security was present, blocking off streets and redirecting traffic. This morning, there was an NYPD officer at every corner, every subway entrance and at every building entrance. Who could have imagined the events of September 11, 2001 and now, no one can forget them.
I can tell you every detail about that day, from sitting in my 6th grade social studies classes, watching students leave school one by one to sitting outside at recess wondering with my friends what was going on. I distinctly remember meeting my mom at the bus stop and thinking how weird it was since our bus stop was only three houses away. I remember the entire two-minute conversation I had with my dad and the feeling of relief I had when I knew he was alright. I remember the first images I saw and the great sadness I felt. I remember it all.
At the time, all of my parents worked in Manhattan as well as almost all of my aunts and uncles. Our lives could have turned out a lot differently that day. I know it effected my dad and stepmom, who lost lots of friends. I know my aunts and uncles will never forget watching the plane burst into flames as it hit the first tower. I can’t help but feel eternally grateful that my loved ones returned home safely that day, when so many others didn’t.
As I commuted to work this morning, I thought about those who lost their lives 12 years ago today. The only crime they committed was going to work. They were innocent. Now being someone who goes into Manhattan every day, what happened that day hits me even harder. All those people did was go to work like they were supposed to. Today is truly an example of how quickly life can change.
We should not sit and cry all day today, though we might want to. Hug your loved ones a little tighter and celebrate your life. And never forget what happened on 9.11.01.
“Count your blessings not your problems”
First off, I’d like to apologize for not posting as much last week. The new job is awesome but is also an adjustment. So is the two-hour commute. But I promise to make more of an effort and have at least three posts per week.
Since Thanksgiving is this week, I figured what a better Motivation Monday post. Thanksgiving is a holiday that usually centers around delicious foods, intense football games and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. People spend hours preparing meals and traveling to spend time with their families. While the food is a large part of the day, too often people forget the real purpose of Thanksgiving: To give thanks.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the fine details of the holiday: What side dishes to make, how long it will take to get to your destination, what time the football game is on. I understand it and usually am part of the chaos. This year, I vow for it to be different.
As I’ve shared with you, Hurricane Sandy has devastated so many and changed landmarks that will never be the same. Loved ones have passed away and my life changed in more ways than one throughout the last year. There are parts of my life that I wish would have never changed. I have regrets, broken promises and words said that I can’t get back. However, I have about a million things to be thankful for. I’ll only provide you with the short list:
- My Family: Despite being mildly dysfunctional, they are the best support system a girl could ever ask for. I have parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who love me and make me smile. I’d be nothing without them.
- My friends: They are my extended family, my people, what keeps me going. I have the absolute best friends who continuously show up ready to challenge me, support me or just laugh with me.
- My health: I’ve heard too many stories about young people passing away from cancer or other diseases. It’s easy to take our health for granted when nothing is wrong but it is very precious.
- My degree: Not everyone has the privilege of receiving a college education. Not only did I receive that privilege but I attended a great university that I am so proud of. Saying I am #TempleMade is the greatest accomplishment of my young life.
My list could go on and on. But this year on Thanksgiving, I plan to really reflect on everything I am grateful for and not on who’s winning the football game. It is important to be grateful all year long, not just on Thanksgiving. Whoever you spend your holiday with, realize how blessed you are to have them as a part of your life.
Below is Kelly Clarkson’s song Thankful that summarizes the meaning of Thanksgiving.