I got married, made the cover of the Nashville Scene
, finished a master's degree, got a fourth cat, got a real job, bought a house, had a baby, made peace with God and joined a church, started blogging, had another baby. On September 11, 2001, I was a much different person than I am today.
Honestly, my memories of that morning are a little fuzzy. I was a full-time divinity school student, but didn't have classes on Tuesday. I was working on a paper when Ashlee called me and told me to turn on the television. I called my good friend Mike, who had just moved to Nashville, woke him up, and told him to turn on the television. I took a walk. I tried to convince my boss at the Sylvan Learning Center to cancel classes; she couldn't. That afternoon, I went to work. One hour, I worked with two teenage girls and a second grade girl. The teenagers' naturally alarmist response to that morning's tragedy freaked out the second grader, who didn't seem to grasp what was going on. I don't recall any of the other hours.
I remember being freaked out for the next several weeks. I felt a combination of fear, compassion, and solidarity with those people in our world for whom terror is a part of their daily lives. I didn't want life in the United States to return to normal; because normal seemed naive.
Still, months later life had returned to normal. The nation was at war, but many Americans were not directly affected by the war effort. We weren't asked to sacrifice, and we became casual observers. Soon the War on Terror was overshadowed by the War in Iraq; soon our fears, our pride, and our unity was superceded by fruitless political bickering.
My life has change drastically since 9/11, but I'm not sure 9/11 has been responsible for any of those changes. September 11, 2001 stands out on the timeline of my life; it's one of those moments that divides the time continuum in half—into "before" and "after." Still, if I'm honest with myself, I must say that I don't think about 9/11 much anymore, and I can't say that I woke up this morning with a sense that today was different or special. 9/11 happened in another time, another world–a world that bears little resemblance to the one I now live in.