Today is a day that will also be a somber one for me. I was on Manhattan Island when the towers fell and the world stopped spinning, or at least it seemed. Now I’m older, and wiser, and today I think about how life has changed. I didn’t lose a loved one that day but I always thought I lost a part of myself. Really I just became a slightly different version.
This year more than ever before I’m thinking about that day. Some things have definitely changed. Stephanie on Sept 11, 2001 was a single woman who had a different name from Stephanie on Sept 11, 2015 who is a wife, a mom, a seasoned career woman.
Today without even thinking about it I started my day as I emerged from Penn Station on the 8th Avenue side to head to my office in Times Square. My usual modus operandi is keep your music blaring to drown out what’s happening around you, don’t make eye contact and walk as quick as your fitbit can keep up but today was different. Firstly, I rarely go that way. For 17 years I’ve arose via 7th Avenue. I don’t know why it happened that way but it did. I didn’t have my earbuds in. It wasn’t a conscious decision I just didn’t put them in. Today I was greeted by a huge sign on the side of the building with Pope Francis welcoming me. It calmed me. I didn’t feel like I needed calming, but a sense of peace came over me.
I then looked up 8th Avenue and saw that place I called home on that day 14 years ago (at least my work home). The Worldwide Plaza.
It felt right. I strolled up the avenue to my office going out of my way to be positive. Smiling more at others, interacting. No being my snarky self, not today (and I’m going to try better to do this everyday). I sat at my desk for our 2 minutes of silence in honor of the employees that were lost 14 years ago today. I teared up. I read some great articles about New York and it has inspired me.