Where were you on 9/11/01?

Today marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Do you remember where you were that day?

9/11/01 is a day no American will ever forget. A day that changed the lives of many, and changed the face of a nation. For a super power such as the United States, who would have thought that one moment in time would suddenly change our country. From our individual selves to how we operate as a people, we were never the same after that tragic day.

9/11 World Trade Center Flag 4
Image by NVinacco via Flickr

I will never forget where I was on 9/11/01. For a day that happened 10 years ago I still remember it as it were yesterday. I was junior at the University of Connecticut. Actually about 3 weeks into my junior year to be exact.  That morning I had an 8:00 am class. I had four back to back classes from morning to afternoon. As usual I didn’t want to wake up, and I felt that class started too early. But I woke up.

At 7:00 AM I woke up. Turned on the TV to the today show as usual while I got ready for class. I still remember the news from that day, well some of it. Michael Jordan was ready to return to basketball, and The Blueprint album by Jay-z was going to be released. It was a Tuesday. Another normal Tuesday, or so I thought.

It was hot that day. Not like a normal September east coast day. It still felt like summer. I arrived to my 8:00 am class on time, it was Sociology. At 8:46 am the first plan hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. I was still in class. At 9:03 am the second plane hits the south tower of the World Trade Center. I was still in class. My home city was under attack, I had no idea. No one knew the destruction and devastation that was taking place outside of the safety net of our classroom on a college campus.

At 9:59 am the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. By this time I was in my second class of the day Women’s Studies. I still had no idea what was going on in New York. How could I? There was no TV or radio on my walk from one class to the next. Surprisingly the class was full. No one mentioned a word of a terrorist attack on New York. Maybe they were unaware too of what was going on two and a half hours away from the safety of our college campus. At 10:28 am the north tower collapses. Thousands of people are dead, and New Yorker’s are in a true state of shock.

By the time I got to my third class which started at 11:00 am I still haven’t heard the news about what was going on in New York. On my stop to grab a cup of coffee I did overhear two students talking about a plane flying into the Pentagon. Since I only heard a slight bit of their conversation, I naturally assumed they were talking about a movie. Why would a plane be flying into the Pentagon in real life? Little did I know.

During my 11:00 am class of Animal Behavior the Professor did mention that coverage of this morning’s events would be on at the Student Union. I had no idea what he was talking about. He didn’t elaborate, just taught a normal lecture. I wished he had stopped to talk about how our country was under attack.

On my walk to my fourth and final class of the day, I noticed students crying all over campus. Students on the phone crying, lying on the grass crying, I was surrounded by tears. During my final class of Psychology, the Professor explained what had happened. He took a moment to talk about the terror attacks of the morning, the class reflected. It was hard. Unexpected. Not something I was ready for. But I finally knew what was happening in my city, I was living through terror.

New York, NY, September 28, 2001 -- Debris on ...
Image via Wikipedia

A few years later during my time as a graduate student at NYU, I lived a few blocks away from the World Trade Center Site. Lower Manhattan is naturally noisy, but living there after what had happened made the noise even louder. I would sometimes wake up in panic during the middle of the night while hearing fire trucks and police sirens. I would jump as if we were under attack. I was going through my own PTSD, one of memories.

Even though I wasn’t in New York on 9/11/01, I will never forget. I will always remember what the World Trade Center was before 9/11/01, and I will always remember how the city of New York came to together as one to stand up against evil after 9/11/01.

The World Trade Center in New York.
Image via Wikipedia
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Back to Basics: Having a passion for the present

        You ever get to a point in your life where you stop and wonder “how did I get here”? And think, “was my life planned out to be this way”? Ever just stop and think about the past events of your life and look for the common connection that has led you to your current place in the world? Not regretting the past, just thinking, “wow 10 years ago I would have never thought that I would be here”, and then left to wonder what in the world will possibly happen next. Sometimes I wish I could cheat and see the map of what’s next for my life, but yet I know it is better left as a surprise. No cheating, just living. Living with purpose, walking by faith.

The point of my recent pondering; well suddenly I realized that it was already the end of July! Where did 2011 go, I feel like it just started yesterday. Nearly eight months in and I am thinking time really needs to slow down. I wish time would take a small break so I can mentally catch up to the speed that its going. Maybe I just need to go faster, work harder, but really time, do you have to go so fast?

Lately I have gone back to self analyzing my life (again, it’s what I do best!). Over the past few months I have been so busy with the chaos of life 18-20 hours out of the day, that I lost time to do everything that was important to me, like living. I once heard someone say that we get so busy living in the future, we forget to live in the present. Yeah that is how I feel right now. In January, this moment was the future, now it is the past, and I am wondering what happened to the present.

The greatness of time. It is always constant,  it doesn’t stop, doesn’t slow down, just keeps going. A rare certainty in life. My challenge to myself has been making the most of each moment that I am currently in, taking advantage of what I love to do, and making those dreams I have for the future, my reality in the present.

I have been working so much, that I forgot for a moment that I love writing. I knew something was missing from my life, and yes I have neglected my blog. Not good! Then I had to question myself, how much do I really love writing if I don’t make the time to write? Seriously, I need to love it more. To be successful, eat, sleep, and breathe what your passionate about. I know I have a passion for writing, so my task to myself is just to write! Even if I am not always happy with the finished product, at least I have words on paper.

My next task to myself is to live in the moment. I wish I had an off switch to my brain so I can give it a rest, focus on today. My daily plan is to decide what I want to accomplish for the day and do it to my full ability. So for all my avid readers (like I have so many, but I will pretend that I do right now), I am back! Back to writing, back to sharing my random thoughts, daily adventures, and details of my horrible dates. OK, just kidding I will be more optimistic for the rest of the year. Positive thoughts, positive energy, make positive experiences!

Midterm elections: Politricks as Usual

Blog Disclaimer: I am in no way a political blogger or claim to be a political aficionado, however I do have an opinion about the evil reality of  politics and here it is!

Midterm elections are coming up in November and it seems like they are going to be ugly. Everyone put on your boxing gloves and get in the ring, because I envision an all out fight between both parties. Politics has truly become evil.

I will admit I hate politics, I think it is all one big game. The losers: The American people. No matter who you vote for, as a common American you lose out.  Both parties are confused about the reality of our nation, and corruption is running rampant all over Capitol Hill no matter who our fearless leader is. With politics comes greed, lies, and deceit. The better you can hold a lie no matter how much evidence there is against you, the better the Politician you are. Go ahead ask Rob Blagojevich, he knows all about how to be a corrupt Politian, and maintain your innocence at the same time. The motto of politicians, “Deny, Deny, Deny”. Then when you can’t deny it anymore, turn it into something else and then try to deny that. Bill Clinton is famous for that one.

I must say that if I must choose a side then I am a die-hard liberal, I voted for Obama in 2008 and will vote for him again in 2012. I will say that we are a nation in dire need of healthcare reform, I am for equal rights in marriage, and I think every woman should have the right to choose if she wants to have an abortion or not.

I see the conservative party as one of hypocrisy, filled with self serving individuals who think no further than their own best personal interest. Let’s keep it real conservatives you speak so much about government needing to take a hands off approach, call Obama a Socialist, yet have the nerve to protest gay rights for marriage, and a woman’s right to choose. Claims have been made that this is not God’s way, but wasn’t this nation based on a separation of Church and State? So in that case it seems that religion should not be mixed with government, and government should not have a say in personal life choices. Just checking,  lines have apparently been blurred. But,  I guess it is acceptable to be a walking contradiction when you have enough people to rally behind you.

As we move closer to midterm elections, I am starting to again see the true ugliness of politics, and how political news media outlets that can greatly skew the thoughts of  American voters. Lets take our lovely channel of Fox news for instance.  With Glen Beck’s constant daily rants, Bill O’Reilly talking about all the wrongs of the Obama administration, and a slew of anchors that hate any move Obama makes, can we really say this network is “fair and balanced”.

Let’s see what we have learned from Fox news about out fearless President: Before the election Obama was anti-American because he was associated with the church of Rev. Wright, and therefore he hated all White people. The brithers with too much time on their hands, are going non stop to prove that Obama was not born in this country, so he had no right to run for president in the first place. Over the past few months, Obama has become a Socialist, and now he is a Muslim. So I am guessing soon he will be a Nazi, who supported the concentration camps in Germany right? Really can we give the Obama bashing about what he is or where he came from a rest? Emphasis should really be on the job he is doing as President. Though it may not be perfect,  he is doing something. Change is occurring.

Has anyone ever thought about where we might be if McCain had actually won the 2008 election. Maybe we wouldn’t have to see Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars or on the cover of People Magazine! But also with that, there may be even more troops in Iraq, and we may be fighting wars against Iran, and North Korea. And of course the economy would still be in a horrible state. That is not a change that would happen over night. But with the outbreak of war, a VP who would have wanted to take away a woman’s right to choose, and the preachings of anti gay marriage coming straight from the White House, do you really think our country would be in a better state than we are currently in? I have my strong doubts about that one.

As I was watching red eye tonight (not something I usually do), I became highly annoyed with the Greg Gutfeld because he could not understand why the people in the Oprah audience were so exited that Oprah was giving them a free trip to Australia. If Oprah gives you a FREE vacation wouldn’t you be jumping up and down also? Mr. Gutfeld was shocked why people would be overjoyed with elation because they were going to Australia. His  response in a pompous manner was to question if these people ever traveled. I was offended by his arrogance in thinking that every american has the luxury to just pick up and travel to another county. Personally I am the only person in my family with a passport, since my parents have never been outside of the country they would be incredibly excited for a trip to Australia! (Of course they would stress the fact that they would now need a passport)  I wish someone at the table had said something to defend the excited audience, but no they just sat at the table and smirked. Someone really needs to tell him that many people have not traveled outside their state, let alone to another country. Rightfully, they have a reason to be excited. It is a free trip to Australia, an opportunity that they may not have ever experienced in their life! This just shows how Gutfeld has a  sense of being out of touch with the harsher realities of America. But of course it is Fox News, so we all must be well traveled, wealthy, and no need for any tax cuts.

The birth of the Tea Party and the Governor of Arizona  have made the political game even worse. Thank you Arizona Governor for legalizing racial profiling. Now lets see if this decreases the number of illegal immigrants in this country or your own state for that matter, I am not holding my breath on that one. The people of the Tea Party or other conservatives rarely to never offer solutions to the problems of this nation, only complaints. But of course that is expected. Why? Because they are strong supporters of  none other than Sarah Palin. A political novice, who proved her lack of political knowledge when she was chosen to run as our nations Vice President. But now it actually seems that she has supporters to run in 2012, ummm why? What platform does she stand on about anything? Oh let me not forget, the right to bear arms, and pro-life. So what else? But since she just decided to up and quit her job as the Governor of Alaska, Tea Party people, be very afraid that she will up and quit on you also! Past actions are a measure of future behaviors, she has a history of running away, so why would she make a good President?

Again, I will note that I think both sides of politics have significant problems. With the constant Obama mudslinging and the congressional divide it makes it really hard to respect anyone’s point of view. It is time that we as a nation revert back to talking about straight issues, thinking about American people as a whole, and devoting some of the money that we are spending on wars, banks, and the auto industry bailout, to the future of this county.  All politicians need to wake up, children are our nations future, and they are sorely losing in this game of politics. With schools being closed, programs being cut, and teacher being laid off, doesn’t that raise a red flag to anyone one!  While we fight about how the government is not serving our own personal best interest, in the end the future of our children is really what is most at stake.

Things I now know at 28, Just because I wasn’t paying attention at 27

MY BFF Dana and I on my 28th Birthday!!!

So I had a birthday! Last month, on March 19th to be exact I turned 28. Or as some people like to say…30 minus 2. Lets count it down!!!  But I’ll just say 28 for now.

It took me a while to really start to feel my brand spanking new age,  and say out loud that I am being pushed into becoming a year older, which is why it took me a month to post this blog.  Yes people I am 28! No longer can I claim ignorance as an excuse when I really just want to get wasted and pass out in some strange place. Nope I know better now, and I am not allowed to engage in my old college girl acts of random, crazy, fun!

Since turning 28 I don’t feel any different from when I was 27. But I feel a huge difference from age 18!  I now sit and watch CNN…OH NO!!! And I actually turn on Fox news, (as I wait for the day that that network will suddenly disappear),  just to see what nonsense, or new socialist theory Glenn Beck would like to rant on today. I am starting to think the Real World on MTV is not good television anymore, maybe because I am now too old to ever be a cast member. Actually, the only good show on MTV is 16 and pregnant. That is because I like to watch the unrealistic ways these girls think they can manage their lives and a newborn at the same time.  Now that is good television! Oh and the cast of the Jersey Shore will always be a bunch of idiots in my head. But I do wonder where they will be in 5 years…hmmm.

I understand that life means real responsibility, and every choice I make falls on me. No bail out for me! At 28 I have felt the joys and disappointment of love, and I still continue to move forward on the journey of learning more about love, life, career, and everything else that comes along with being 28 (Or the prepping phase for 30).

28,  in my late twenties, officially. The point where women start to get really anxious about being 30 and alone. No kids, No husband, Oh no, will I be myself forever!! No I don’t have those feelings just yet, I still feel great being just me, but I am clearly making a mental note to myself not to settle for a fool! I remember I am better than that, and settling will lead to eventual unhappiness.

So here is a brief list of things that I now know at 28, that maybe I didn’t want to accept at 27, but life is about reality right?

  • I will probably never hit the lotto to become rich quick
  • I will probably never marry a rich millionaire athlete or movie star (I think I am too old now, LOL)
  • A retirement account is a good thing to have
  • Being on reality TV is not exactly the best way to become famous
  • Bad days do not last forever, and a even greater day will be coming soon!
  • Love does not happen in a day
  • I will have to compromise in any relationship I am in
  • Men do like women who cook
  • Men like to be pampered as much as women do
  • Dating younger guys isn’t necessarily a bad thing
  • It is ok to date guys who have reached the age of 40 without thinking he is an old ass man, and the fact that he likes me is repulsive
  • It is perfectly fine to date outside of my race ( sorry black men, but can some of you please step your game up!)
  • If I want something in life, then I will have to work to get it (damn it!)
  • It is a great thing to budget your money
  • I can survive on my own
  • I will get married to an awesome guy, who will also be my best friend
  • I will never ever get back together with my ex because he is worse than a total jerk!  (hey that is really good to know!)

I am excited to see what life has in store for me at 28, the first month hasn’t been so bad, so in the next 11 months I will continue to move with the changes of life, and embrace the good, grow from the bad, and continue to learn how I can improve on just being a better me!


Skydiving…We all should do it, at least once!!!

So I did it! I went Skydiving! Yes me, I jumped out of a perfectly good plane for no reason and lived to tell about it. Whew, that’s a good thing! To some who know me personally it would be a surprise that I actually went skydiving. As my mom asked with the tone of deep concern for my mental stability in her voice,  “why would I want to do that”?  Well why not do it! It is an awesome experience that makes you see life from a whole new level, and hey if all goes well (hopefully it does), you always have another story to add to your collection. 🙂

Me and my tandem Instructor Wyatt, great guy!

I am facing fears. I once thought that I had a fear of heights, but then I realized that I am only afraid when I stop, think about it, then tell myself that I am supposed to be afraid of being up in high places. There is really nothing really scary about being up high, but if I think that I will fall then the fear sets in. So I don’t think about, just do it! I moved to Hawaii it seems to be going well, I jumped out of a plane and survived, am I pushing my luck? What can I try next? And what do I really have to be afraid of?

While prepping to go up onto the plane that I was about to jump out of, I must admit that I started to have feelings of fear. Yup, doubts, wondering “what the heck am I doing”, and “if I die, am I ready to end my life”. It was a battle between negative thoughts, and the positive thoughts of “this is going to be great”, and “I can’t wait for the experience”. Positive thoughts are good to have, they help to relax your mind.  As I watched other people end their jump by smiling as they landed, the positive thoughts had the edge of hey this is not so bad after all 🙂

The moment as I was about to jump out of the plane with the instructor on my back was a life moment that I will never forget. Looking down into straight clouds, and feeling the breeze of the brisk air in my face  from the edge of this tiny plane (yeah tiny, I was more afraid of the engine blowing on the plane than actually jumping out of it) was a great moment. The free fall down was an experience like no other. The closest that I will ever get to flying. The feeling of freedom. Strong winds blowing directly into my face, seeing the sky from an angle that I would never imagine. Dropping to the ground from 14,000 feet high! But I had no fear! Just enjoying the moment because I have never felt anything like it. No roller coaster has ever given me that experience. It was as if life stopped and I was a brand new bird in the sky. New to the environment and wanting to feel every bit of this experience because I knew it would be over quick. And it was, next the parachute opened. A slow decline to the ground, I could see land, houses, and the beautiful scene of the pacific ocean. Thinking if I dropped suddenly I would rather fall  in the ocean than on land. The tandem instructor led us safely back to the ground, I even landed without breaking my ankle! Which I must admit was my biggest fear before this whole ordeal.

I survived, jumped out of a plane, with a man strapped to my back of course, and survived. What a feat! Hawaii has really been good to me so far, and this is another thing to add to my list. Would I have done this in NY, probably not. Having the freedom to try something new, not be afraid, and let go is actually working, and I hope it continues to lead me in great directions in the future.

The Tsunami that never happened! (Oh thank goodness)

Never before have I been in a Tsunami, and to tell you the truth I really don’t want to be in one. A large series of waves over taking dry land does not sound like a cool thing in my head. But I have learned when you live in Hawaii, there is a risk that you may be in a Tsunami. So everyone search for high ground, and prepare the emergency kit, because Tsunami’s are real, and there may be one coming for an island near you!

Ok let me be honest with you, before 2004 when the big Tsunami hit the south pacific, I had no idea what it was and the type of damage that it could actually cause. I had never even heard the word used before that time, but when it hit I was surely made aware that it is a seriously dangerous disaster that caused a huge number of deaths. Who knew that an earthquake could hit in one place, then a Tsunami is formed to add damage on to another. Well it real, and the threat of actually being in the middle of one quickly threw me back into a reality check, that I really do live on an island in the middle of the ocean, strictly surrounded by water.

When the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile on Friday, the world had one natural disaster quickly followed by another. By early Saturday morning the tsunami alarms were sounding on the Hawaiian Islands. At about 2 am I got a frantic phone call and text message from a friend in NY asking me if I was alright. My thoughts were did something happen to my family in NY that I didn’t hear about, because I was fine, and trying to sleep! Then she told me about the tsunami warning in Hawaii, and wanted to make sure I was ok.  I just went to thinking, damn girl your crazy, of course I’m fine, and why are you waking me up at 2 am for this! I had no idea how serious the alert seemed to the outside world. Next came the loud blaring alarm starting from about 4 am in the morning. Remind you I have never been on tsunami alert before and had no idea what that annoying noise was. So my thoughts: “why don’t they stop making all that noise so I can get some sleep”. I had no idea news channels were broadcasting that an impeding natural disaster was on the way and the country was praying for Hawaii to be safe.

As the night went on more alarms, and to me, more annoying noise, nope I didn’t get up out of my bed to find out what it was. It was just noise disturbing my sleep. For a quick second I thought maybe it was a fire alarm, but figured I would hear people outside or someone would knock on my apartment door if we were in serious danger. Right? So I just attempted to sleep through the loud sirens that would wake sleeping giants. When morning came so did the phone calls. Friends on island telling me that we were on tsunami alert and to get to hight ground. Well I live on the 8th floor in a high-rise in the middle of the island, so I am safe right? That would have been one serious world ending wave to reach me, so what is all the panic about? Then messages from friends in NY asking if everything was ok, wow I didn’t know so many people cared about my well being. Well I guess it takes a near death experience to find out that people really do care about you. Sad? Yes.

I finally woke up from my bed when the sun was up, turned on the TV, and realized the island was in full on panic mode. On facebook, messages about this tsunami on the way to Hawaii. People sending out prayers for Chile and Hawaii. Wow this is serious! Food stores flooded with people. Gas stations running out of gas. Stock up on food, water, and toilet paper! Too bad I had a fully foodless house, and only a few bottles of 16 ounce water. By the time I had woke up to go to the store, yeah you know it was out water completely!! I have never seen shelves so empty in my life. I guess they were really preparing to be shut in for a few days.

Poor me I had no food, limited water, no batteries, and only two rolls of toilet paper. So they say Hawaii dodged the bullet. The major Tsunami never happened, no waves, we were left high and dry. Luckily, nothing happened. But maybe it was me who really dodged the bullet, it wasn’t until the threat of a natural disaster, that I realized, I am not at all prepared for one. So big Thank you’s go out to Mother Nature for looking out for me on this one! I am oh so glad that we had the Tsunami that never happened.

Oh yeah my gas tank was on empty too, so I would have really been shut in my apartment with no hope! 😦