Friday, September 11, 2015

Memories of today

Today is always a bittersweet memory for me.  I did not personally lose anyone to 9/11.  Still this day affects me profoundly.  My plan was to head to Greece on September 18th.  I had moved my belongings back to Kansas where they would remain for six months while I found myself.  Or so I told my friends and family.  I was restless in Phoenix and looking for adventure. 
Graciously, my older sister and her husband let me store my stuff at their home in Lawrence.  I was saying goodbye to my mom and my younger sisters in Salina on September 10th.  I had already made the rounds of goodbyes to college friends, high school and family.  Although, my family thought I was crazy to go abroad, they knew they would not be able to talk me out of it. 
I remember waking up at my mom's house.  Confused to what was being reported on the news.  Captivated by the events and scared for people that I didn't know.  In addition, my sister was stranded in Chicago and we were unable to contact her. 
I remember being gouged trying to fill my car up with gasoline.  I think it was $4.50/gallon.  My little sister and I went to see Rockstar that night.  It seemed like the most normal thing to do.  Sit in the dark and try to watch a film.  To distract from the reality that now was occurring.  The heart break, tragedy, unknowing of what tomorrow would be like. 
Suddenly, I had a choice.  Go to Greece as planned or make a detour.  My family at this point rallied to dissuade me from going abroad.  I stood firm in my decision.  I would be fine, I told them.  Then, I visited my mentor who suggested the traveling in the first place.  He was the only one that could reason with me.  He reminded me that I could delay the trip and go some other time.  The proximity of Greece to the Middle East might not be the smartest decision for a solo female traveler.  I returned to my sister's house with the news.  I would postpone my European adventure and remain in Kansas.  That thought lasted about two days.  I spent some time at local spots and knew that I had outgrown being a college student.  That eventually I would turn into an alcoholic or something of that sort due to the fact that I knew way too many people in Lawrence.  It would be too accessible to hang out on a daily basis.  The thought of returning to Phoenix didn't really factor in.  I had left and didn't want to return.  Sure, I could have returned and worked at the pub.  I told them I wanted a leave of absence and they believed me.  I left on good terms so I knew I would have a position with them if I wanted it.
I found myself heading to Denver to check out a beer festival.  My aunt lived in Denver and she told me I could stay with her while attending the festival.  Jan flew to Kansas City and we drove to Denver for a weekend.  It was great and before I left, I knew that I would be returning to Denver to make a life there. 
A year later, I met Brian and my life completely changed.  9/11 is a bittersweet memory.  Tragedy, loss, fear that turned into finding my soul mate in Denver. 
For me, I have found that I definitely want to attend a yoga class on this day.  A few years ago, I attended an extremely soulful class where the teacher chose the best songs to commemorate the day.  It was very emotional and heartfelt.  Last year, I attended a vinyasa class that also dedicated the music to NY style songs.  Again, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the beauty of that city, of life, of peace and kindness to all.  Today, I attended a mysore class.  Made myself get out of bed and practice ashtanga.  Extremely thankful that I did this.  I would have preferred a vinyasa with music class. It feels more ideal.
However you choose to remember, take a moment and breathe.  Kindness and peace to all.

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