Thursday, September 15, 2011

just that.

Sunday marked the ten year anniversary of 9/11. I read on blogs and facebook throughout the day where people were and what they remember about this day, a decade ago... and looking back, I'm unnervingly surprised by what very little I remember about my own life-altering experience that was Nine/Eleven. I revisit this day nearly every day... in the back of my mind where the decisions are made that defy the odds... as the shards of debris are continually unburied, processed and let go of...

...so it's incredibly strange that a lover of details like me cannot remember a single specific about 9.11.01.

While I hardly ever talk about today in the ten-years-ago sense, it has been a weight I have carried heavy on my heart for awhile. Through a long process of forgiveness, I have finally reached a point in my life where I am able to let it go... and categorize it in past tense because that's exactly what it is: in the past. And while I have always refused to let today define me, it has undeniably shaped me in to the person I am... and the person I am very much so striving to be... and I have learned to embrace it.

What I do remember. I remember I was two weeks shy of my fifteenth birthday. I do not remember getting ready for school that morning but I remember being in medical academy class (second period) when our teacher turned on the T.V. and the local news kept flashing back-and-forth between clips of the bellowing smoke of the first tower of the W.T.C. "A plane has flown in to the World Trade Center" and the president, who was at an elementary school 45 minutes North of my hometown, reading books to a class of innocent students.

I remember my mum had a hearing at 8:30 that morning that would decide if we could remain in her custody... but I don't think I understood the magnitude of what the decisions made in that courtroom would have on my life. I did not realize that my childhood would be taken from me that day. I remember being scared when a portly man named Brian Paul showed up in my principal's office just before school ended and told us we were not allowed to go home. We didn't hear from my mum for many weeks after that day...

& that is where I draw a blank. There is a coping mechanism, a glitch in my memory... that physically will not allow me to recall the day-to-day details of the next few months, next three years. Looking back, much of my adolescence was a blur. I entered a survival mode that enabled me to muttle through the next three years before my acceptance to college freed me from the hand I had been dealt that I couldn't change. I couldn't change the estranged grandparents I lived with. I couldn't change the ways in which my parent(s) failed me. I couldn't escape losing my mum... but somehow, mostly through watching my sister, I became incredibly aware of the things I could change.

I could make a life for myself that wasn't plagued by drugs. I could go to university and get a degree. I could surround myself with the greatest examples of the person I wanted to be. I could give back. I could make a difference. I could be overly optimistic. I could travel and see the world. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could dream as big as the sky. And I did just that.

And I will continue to do just that for as long as the sky will allow me to dream. & when I reach the sky's limit, I will shoot for the moon, seizing every opportunity that can be found in the smallest crevices of every day because as 9/11 taught us, the safe & secure world as we know it today can literally stop turning in an instant tomorrow.

My entire world stopped turning that day and while it hasn't been the easiest road to recovery, the ease at which my Earth spins on its axis today is something spectacular... as life's quest of discovering the reason why certain things happen in the sometimes catastrophic ways that they do is almost understood.  Every unfortunate tribulation truly does happen for a reason.  It's just up to you to find the positive blessings amidst all the negative debris to understand why.

And as the door closes on a decade long chapter, I've done just that.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Jocelyn, you are my hero! I am so inspired by you! You have overcome so many obstacles in your life and have turned into such an amazing person. You could have easily, and very understandably, used things in your life as an excuse to not succeed but you did not. You have already achieved so much and I know it is just the beginning. Someday when I grow up, I want to be just like you. I love you lots!!