Learning from 9/11
Ten years ago I was a lawyer.
I was working on a case at one of the biggest law firms in the country and, as a result, that case filled my every waking thought. It was important to my job and for that reason -and that reason only – it became important to me.
The lawyers I was working with at the time are among the best in the business; decent people and brilliant legal minds who I am proud to call friends to this day.
And on 9/11, that 9/11, I was with them in a hearing room waiting to continue the case.
Over those horrible hours when the nation changed we went through many of the emotions you did: disbelief, grief, anger, fear.
But as the rest of the city rushed home to be with family and stand with loved ones, I sat in a 45th floor boardroom watching planes land at the island airport, praying that none of them were headed for my building and losing my mind with worry about what it all meant.
I should’ve gone home but I couldn’t. I was waiting for firm permission that it was ok to leave. I was so out of control with respect to my own life and priorities that I – and many others – wasn’t sure if a possible terrorist attack was a good enough reason to cut out early.
Crazy but true.
And so I sat in that boardroom working while struggling with a nagging question: Where do we go from here?
My personal response was fairly immediate: I got on a plane within weeks of 9/11. I’d always loved to travel and getting back on the horse was psychologically key to me.
And then I began to make plans for a life dedicated to the things that matter most to me: family, friends, travel and writing.
Ten years later and the effect of that terrible day when so many lost so much is still heavy on my mind.
I’ve never been able to watch a 9/11 documentary or service in full. My heart breaks everytime.
But I am proud of the fact that through our round the world trip, Ish and I are fulfilling a promise we made to ourselves to live our lives to the fullest and to teach our boys to do the same.
So many lives were cut short ten years ago, so many dreams left unfulfilled, so many retirement plans that would never be realized.
The victims of 9/11 deserved more. We all do. Maybe the way to pay tribute to all the lives lost on that day is to live your life to its full potential,
to embrace each day that you’re given,
to tell those you love how much you do,
to stop being miserable,
to eat more chocolate cake and savour every bite,
to have more belly laughs,
to stop worrying so much about tomorrow.
Live. Your. Life.
There are so many who would give anything to have that chance.