Monday, September 10, 2012

"Where Were You..." Take 2

One year ago exactly, I wrote about the biggest anniversary that my life has known.  It was the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States of America.  September 11, 2001 was a day that I will never forget.  I could never forget the way I felt.  The fear that was in the air that day seemed to choke me.  I was trying to figure out the words to say tonight as I think about they day that looms on tomorrow's horizon, eleven years... It's been eleven years since I learned what it truly meant to be an American.  I looked back on my reflection from last year, and had to giggle.  Though it did bring me to tears, to delve into those feelings again, I found humor in the fact that I nearly wrote the exact same thing. Apparently, I'm very set in my feelings about this day, and rather than write them down AGAIN, I figured that since I said it pretty well 365 days ago, I would just share the same sentiments with you again.  So... here is what I thought exactly one year ago... and how I still ache today.

"Where Were You?"

Today marked the tenth anniversary of the day terrorists changed the world for us Americans.  Life as we knew it would never be the same.  As a fourteen year old freshman in high school, I had an idealized opinion of the great nation I was a part of.  Growing up, we were taught the history of the United States; How it was founded as the "New World" then later referred to as the "Promised Land" and the "Land of Opportunity."  All of these names given to a place that people believed in and looked to be a safe haven for families to grow and to prosper.  I remember learning about tragedies in our history like Pearl Harbor and feeling patriotic, knowing that our American people were able to come together to protect everything that our great country stood for.  And I remember September 11, 2001, realizing in one incredibly painful and eye opening moment that I was going to carry this day around with me forever.

I didn't go to school that morning, because I had a dentist appointment.  I was in the car, listening to the radio with my mom when the first plane hit.  I was in the dentist chair, with the radio in the background when the second plane hit.  I remember sitting up in the chair and saying, thinking "one plane could have been and accident... but two?  No way."  I arrived at school before the end of first period.  I remember walking to my Spanish 2 class, down the large, empty hallway feeling confused and completely alone.  Our principle came on the PA system and explained what I had already known, but no one else was aware of yet.  The deserted hallway seemed like a ghost town as every single classroom went silent.  He instructed the teachers to turn on the news, cancel classes for the day... and all we could do was watch.

Most days, I don't really think about that day.  But on a day like today all I can do is remember; the images of the people and debris, crying, and feeling very afraid.

I think that is what we are supposed to do.  Remember the day as it was, teach those who are young what it truly means to be an American... because like the teenagers who felt the Earth shake on December 7th, 1941... we now know what they felt.  The pain and the fear and the patriotism that was overflowing with rage as we tried to make sense of the acts.

I am so proud to be an American.  Words can't describe the feeling in my heart as write this.  It aches for the people who lost their lives, and the families that were destroyed; But it hopes for the future of these families and our Nation as a whole.

I hope everyone was able to take at least one moment today to say a prayer and to give thanks for our lives.  We are protected by an incredible group of men and women who sacrifice each day to keep our country safe.  Thank you to all our service men and women... from the bottom of my heart.

"Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell
you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that Septemb
er day?" 

Alan Jackson- "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning"

Love True-

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Marilyn Monroe

Recently, I've found some of Marilyn Monroe's words to be very true, and completely relevant to my life!  I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, I've had to.  I think the things we go through in life are just preparing us for what is to come later; making us stronger so we can handle what life may or may not throw our way.  Whether it's a horrible thing or an extraordinary thing that is happening to us, it is leading us to what will come next.  

I applied for a job a couple of months ago.  A big job.  One that would have secured my financial existence, earned me medical and dental insurance, and would have put a huge dent in all of the work I have done for my two gymnastics teams.  This job, though it would have been absolutely terrific for me financially, would have prevented me from really being involved in the things I love most.  

If you couldn't already tell, I did not get this job.  After getting the "We absolutely loved you but..." phone call, I went into a week long (at least) depression.  I was mortified because my livelihood depended on this job.  I was finally at a point where I was willing to do what I had to do (meaning, just about any job on the planet) to pay my rent.  Anyway, once I counted my blessings, and got my head back on straight things started to appear a little more clearly.  

I was able to focus intently on my club gymnastics program, as well as my recruiting responsibilities, which I had been struggling to keep up with.  I had some time to myself in which I spent relaxing, working out, or just enjoying my own company.  It was nice.  Though, it only lasted for about a week when I got a random phone call about another job opportunity!

This job, teaching at the collegiate level, fits perfectly into my schedule.  I am teaching 140 students in six different classes.  I hardly feel grown up enough to be handling this task, but I couldn't feel more blessed.  This job allows me the luxury of maintaining all of my other special privileges- as coaching my gymnasts... ages 17 months all the way to 22 years... is with out a doubt, the most important job I do.  I think I'm going to love teaching though, as I've been doing it since I was 16, just in a different capacity.  I've already found a new level of patience, and serenity with this position.  I know it is, without a doubt, the better of the two job prospects I had this summer.  With that, I will share some of Marilyn's fearless words, 

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

-Marilyn Monroe

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  Believe it, embrace it, and live it.  

Love True,