On September 11, 2001

I was getting ready for work, watching the Today show.  The clips of Matt and Katie that have been replayed ad nauseam since that day were happening in real time.  I just started freaking out and yelling 'Oh My God' at the TV all by myself in my little one bedroom apartment on Halsted.  I called my husband (then boyfriend) and jarred him and his roommates from bed.  At that point, everyone thought it was an accident, so pried myself away from the TV and  headed to work.

On the EL, it was all people were talking about and as we chugged towards the Loop.  The smattering of people with cell phones (yes, not everyone had a cell back then) were getting more and more grim information: it wasn't an accident, there's a second plane, they were commercial jets, something happened at the Pentagon.  When I overheard that last bit, I thought people were starting crazy rumors.  How I wish that was the case.  I got to work just in time to be turned around and sent back home.  Being right next to the tallest building in the US and in one of the largest cities in the world, we were all frightened.  Back home, I just sat and cleaned my apartment all day - crying and watching tv.  My hands are shaking right now, thinking about that time. 

So many things have changed since that day and so many lives, really ALL of our lives, have been shaped by what happened.  By no means am I saying that there was a reason for any of it to happen; and I really have no forgiveness in my heart for the people that committed those crimes. But, to make sense of the horrific and bad in my life, I have to believe that this is the life I was meant to live.  This is the road I'm supposed to go down.

Pretty soon after, my boyfriend of barely eight months proposed.  Many people came out of that time with a feeling of carpe diem, and that's not a bad thing, right?  The day after I got engaged, in late October, I was laid off from the job I loved, at the company I loved with a great salary.  After a few months of unemployment, I ended up working at company that I really rather hated.  Which led to an easy separation when we had the opportunity to move to Seattle.  And what an opportunity it has been.  So many little things I'm thankful for that spiraled from those horrible events that put us where we are now.  

It's been 11 years, but I can so easily transport myself back to that time and those feelings.  The memories are so fresh, not only because of the horror, but because it was during some of the best times of my life.  We were all in our late 20s: friends were getting married, we still went OUT all the time, it was the last gasp of the dot com days (we even had a friend with a boat named Dot Yacht) and we were all DINKS with money to spend and time on our hands.  It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.  For better or worse, I'll never forget.

I'll also never forget watching this show and it's worth revisiting - "the recovery is a dream realized."  Pic and video here.


  1. Great post. I was at home (in CA) getting ready for work, about 6 weeks pregnant (and dealing with the surprise of all of that). I watched on the Today Show, and almost in an auto-pilot trance drove to work (at a dotcom) where I had to break the news to a some of my staff who arrived before it happened. A day later, my grandma passed away after a 6 month battle with brain cancer, and we couldn't fly back east.

    I always look back at that time and how everything seemed to change after that - company lay-offs, new home, preparing for a role as a parent - life as a family.

    Your last paragraph gave me the chills - I could have written that myself (though not as well).

    1. OMG Allyson, I can't imagine being pregnant during that time. The hormones make you emotional enough! And w/your grandma, too?? GAH.
      Yeah, I'm still 28 in my head (that's my FOREVER age) so it feels like yesterday, for sure.

  2. I really enjoyed this post, Andrea! Thanks for sharing!