I was in high school when the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. My high school was a 15 minute walk from World Trade, so I basically had the perfect view of the horrors of that day. For a long time after that I was terrified. Partially because the event left me with anxiety and PTSD like symptoms that still overshadow me to this day. That entire time in my life was an absolute blur, and if it weren't for some of the people I had around me during that time I don't think I would have made it through with my sanity in tact.
I was born and raised in Downtown Manhattan, on the Bowery, near where CBGB's used to be. For about a month after the attacks I could smell the smolder from my neighborhood. It's really eerie to think what those smells really were.
This year more then any other year I feel overburdened by it. I didn't lose anyone that day; no one I knew died. I know some of the firefighters and police officers from my neighborhood died that day doing their jobs, but no one I knew on a personal level. It really was the day I felt like an adult. I really had no choice but to feel like that.
But yeah, even with all that, I think this feeling of being "overburdened" is because in a way I'm fed up carrying the weight of 9/11 on my shoulders. I mean that with no disrespect to everyone who suffered and died, but, I feel like this is the year I can finally say it's just another day for me. For too many years I left myself mourn and relive the events of what happened, and over thought my actions and the actions of others, that this day was almost like a beast I had to feed in to. I kept feeding it negative thoughts and making it stronger.
All New Yorkers have a 9/11 story. But I think a lot of us have let that day really dictate how we live our lives, even now, on some subconscious level. Now that I'm in college again, and I have my job, and my other responsibilities, I don't have the urge to continuously re-watch footage, or even go through my old journal to revisit my old thoughts like I used to. I feel like I've moved on.
9/11 was the worst day of my life, but that was so many lifetimes ago. Never forget, but don't forget to move on; right?