Friday, September 11, 2015

On Remembering

It's not often I address holidays or write about them on this blog. Usually I carry on my blogging schedule as if nothing else in the world is happening. I mean it is my blog, I want to write about the things that are on my mind, and the things that I want to read. It's an outlet for me and usually holidays or significant days aren't on my mind. This time around though for some reason I was compelled to acknowledge this day so I want to share some things that are on my mind.

Fourteen years ago today, so not even a significant anniversary or anything, marks the terrorist attacks targeted at cities on the east coast, New York, DC. In the grand scheme of things it really had little to no effect on me. I was here, far away in California, clear across the country. I had no friends or family in the area, well an Aunt in Maryland but that it still far from all the activity, and I was young that I barely knew what was going on.

Everyone remembers what they were doing that day when they found out and I can tell you that I can barely distinguish that moment. To be honest I don't think I fully understand until a few days later. Back in 2001 on that day, I was still 10 years old. It was within the first few weeks of middle school for me, so that in itself was overwhelming enough. Going from the same 40 or so people I walked through five years of elementary school with and staying basically in class for an entire day, I had been put into an entirely different situation. I had class schedules and periods where I had minutes to walk from one classroom to another. Suddenly there were hundreds of new people from different schools all thrown together, and play structures disappeared. PE class involved changing into gym clothes in an open locker room and trying to remember lock combinations for different lockers. While this was all happening for me, that happened.

I remember waking up for school that morning and nothing was too out of the ordinary. It was typical to have the TV on in living room at a low volume with the morning news so my parents could catch glimpses of it as we are eating breakfast and getting ready for the day. I can't remember what I ate that day but I remember that my parents and sister were all crowded in the living room watching the news instead of ignoring it like we usually do. And the volume was loud, too loud for how it should be on a Tuesday morning.

I don't know if I understood then what had happened, but I know for sure that the next time I was watching the news, which was in homeroom first thing in the morning, I did understand. I can't remember exactly, but the clearest memory from that day is watching the news in that classroom, watching the towers spit out smoke and crumble down. Did I even do anything that day except watch the news from class to class? I have no clue, but that is all I can remember from that day.

Funny how such a huge life event can mean nothing to one 10 year old, but then mean the world to another one. Funny how years later I can still recall those two scenes from that day, but can't tell you what I actually understood about what was going on. A national tragedy just became another strange day for me, but here we are now sharing my experience and my story. Does it mean anything at all? I don't know, but it's something I want to remember no matter what. I find that even these little details that seem insignificant and unimportant have a funny way of making themselves useful. I mean that's the point of this blog right? To just write about me and things.

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