I usually like to keep things light and airy around here, but in light of today's events I really can't help but at least comment. I have spent much of the day reflecting on things between what I was doing then and what I'm doing now.

Then, I was walking from Dr Hust's 1st period biology class to my locker. I needed to get my books for my 2nd period American History class with Mrs Prewitt. My best friend from childhood, Chase, casually walked up to me at my locker and said "Hey, did you know someone hit the World Trade Center with a plane?" To be perfectly honest, I didn't even know what that meant. "Hmm, that's terrible," I thought. But New York City meant nothing to me. Even in days passing when I saw President Bush at Ground Zero, I remember thinking "I wish I understood the geography of New York more so I could even fathom this. I wish I knew what Ground Zero was." At the time, it was all a very distant and abstract occurrence.

Today, I sit in my apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan ten years later, watching people with American flags draped around their shoulders run outside my apartment. I remember every detail of this day ten years ago (even what I was wearing, which I'm sure probably doesn't surprise many of you), but it means something completely different to me today. I have friends and bosses and coworkers who lived here and tell me about their experiences of the day firsthand. I understand the geography and significance of the events that day. I know now, in a very small way, what the impact of a tragedy like that would have on this city. It's heartbreaking and sobering and mind-boggling all at once. It's heavier on me today than ten years ago because now I get it.

Ten years ago, I never thought I would live in this city, and, quite frankly, didn't have a desire to live here. But, I would never trade the understanding that I now have.

[I took this pic from Carrie's blog. I loved it too much not to post. Thanks for sharing, CCD!]