Well I really hadn’t thought about writing anything today until I was browsing my myspace page and saw something that had been written by a lady that I haven’t known long but I have grown to like and respect her professionally and as a person. Now although I didn’t read her blog (and I probably won’t), I did decide to write something here that will explain my slight indifference towards today.
See although I was born in Chicago and raised in Atlanta, I really haven’t travelled as much as I would have liked during my lifetime. A city girl at heart, I’ve managed to stay pretty rooted to the Atlanta landscape until I found a way out…college. After escaping to college in Florida and discovering that there were indeed people who had totally different cultural experiences than me, my appetite was stirred and hasn’t lightened up since.
One of my first truly career-related jobs was a gig that I landed toward the end of 2001. I was working as an Assistant Event Coordinator with Elise Communications. The cool thing about my job was that our client was Levi’s and my boss was coordinating the Levi’s Self-Engineered Tour. Levi’s had just come out with a new type of more dressy jean called the Self-Engineered line and we were putting together a concert tour that would expose the Self-Engineered jeans to the urban market.
It was great. I was going to be traveling with the tour as the Assistant Event Coordinator. The line-up of cities was awesome. We would be hitting New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Atlanta. I was elated.
Well our first show was scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, 2001 in New York City at BBQ’s in Times Square. We flew up a couple of days before to get everything ready for the artists and other personalities that would be participating in the tour. I instantly loved New York but I definitely felt like a fish out of water. It was ok because everyone I was with was really nice and helpful.
I can still remember it. I was getting dressed for the day. Me and the stylist for the show were about to run an errand to pick up some clothes for some of the artists to perform that night. I was watching my typical morning show, Good Morning America. I was in the bathroom doing my hair when I heard Charlie and Diane make a remark about an explosion at the World Trade Center. They were very confused as to what had happened. Then the report switched to the regular newscast. By this time, I was sitting on my bed eyes glued to the screen. The anchors on the ABC affiliate in New York at that time were talking about what had happened and someone called in. Once the first explosion had occured at the World Trade Center, there were cameras honed in on the towers and the second plane had been videotaped going into the second tower. There was a feeling of disbelief as the anchors played back the footage and saw that a plane had indeed crashed into the tower. That’s when the calls started coming in more and more. People who lived near the towers had been going about their morning routines and had seen the plans fly past their windows, way too low to the ground. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Fortunately I was able to reach my mom before the phones got really tied up and she knew that I was ok but that was one of the loneliest times in my life. Here I was in this strange, new city with no family and virtual strangers. I had one high school friend who was in the area, but I couldn’t reach him because of the phone issue. I knew that my location in Times Square didn’t put me in immediate danger with the towers but no one really knew what the hell was going on. I went outside later and Times Square was quiet as everyone looked up at the big TV screen.
I was very fortunate because I didn’t lose anyone close to me and I was able to get back home to Atlanta (we got out that Thursday) safely but that day really stuck with me. I have a bad habit of holding things in and not addressing them and to this day I couldn’t tell you how I feel about that day. I never really dealt with it because I didn’t know how. I had a first hand account of one of our countries biggest disasters of my time. This kind of stuff only happened on TV shows and overseas, not here. I still haven’t processed it, which is why I don’t watch the ceremonies or read things that other people have written about it. I’m working on it though. I suppose I may need to go see someone to really deal with everything but I haven’t as of yet. I guess my first step is in acknowledging that I haven’t dealt with it.
My heart, prayers and good wishes still go out to anyone who lost someone in that horrible tragedy. It was a lot of unecessary heartache and loss that only served as a launchpad for this war of atrition in Iraq, which has led to additional heartache and loss.
Thanks for letting me share.