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.