So I tried to begin this blog four different ways one with a phrase that sounded religious, the other very patriotic, the truth is today is a date we will never forget. It was heart wrenching, scary, shocking, and seemed to create this fog, at least in my head for a while.
Maybe I lived in a bubble but up until 9/11 I never thought of any fear that was in our country just in my own personal world, like my home growing up or when I got in a car accident when I was 18. I never thought of our country as a place that anything happened I felt like "I am proud to be an American because at least I know I'm free" (cue Neil Diamond song). I only thought of this country as, I'll say it "the greatest country in the world", because anything is possible.
After the initial shock, there was anger and fear (understandably). I find anger and fear to be my two worst emotions because I make the worst choices and get the worst results. In anger and fear we look for the loudest voice to guide us and feeding us more anger and fear we'll let you do anything (Bush twice). We had a color terror alert system. A bar graph that told us daily how afraid we should be. You get the point.
At that time I was living in NJ in a cute quiet town on a lake with my boyfriend at the time. He moved in about six months prior and we were relatively happy (no we weren't I was lonely and he seemed interesting and I knew deep down wrong guy and I am sure he knew wrong girl). So we both worked freelance, I had a glassware business and he worked as a sound mixer on tv and film. Shortly after 9/11 our incomes stopped, there was little filming happening in NY and my main client was a casino in Vegas and people were not traveling so no orders. I went into deeper panic mode and got five jobs, he went into "woa what should we do" the pot probably didn't help his motivation. Now I can't figure out why I got five shitty jobs rather than one decent one, it just made sense at the time when not much made sense. My first job of the day started at 6am where I worked at a bagel shop in town and yes though I swore it would not happen I quickly knew everyones coffee order. I knew no ones name but I knew "hi, large light and sweet, toasted sesame with butter". It was crazy this is the stuff that filled my head. I also worked feeding this women's 18 cats and charting how much food they eat, twice a day. She was there when I was but she needed help charting there food intake. I am not sure why but for $20 a day it somehow made sense to me. I worked at night as a telemarketer for a chiropractor. I would call people and give them free Chinese food if they would listen while eating about this chiropractor. That seems so silly now, but back then I was afraid. Afraid I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage, afraid I would be alone if I made this troll leave (that's not nice), afraid. I don't attribute any one thing to losing myself just knew that hiding food wrappers under my car seat from myself made sense. I got stuck, I wore sweat pants as clothing, I'll admit it I stayed in a verbally abusive relationship for four more years, because if you feel worthless you get worthless.
I didn't lose anyone immediately close to me on 9/11 and my heart goes out to the families, friends, etc who did. I just know, for me, the few years following were pretty fearful and numb.
Thank you for reading and love, Vicki, finally unafraid! Lady Bug Warrior