I tried not to write about this day. Tried ducking my head. Tried bobbing and weaving. Tried tossing a million other ideas into the blender that is my head while hitting “Frappe.”
But it comes back like a boomerang. Better than a boomerang–I’ve never been able to get those blasted things to actually return.
It’s seven years gone from September 11, 2001. From a beautiful clear blue day that got shot all to hell.
A month before it, I was sitting on a beach in Cancun celebrating my 10 year anniversary with my high school sweetheart and celebrating a new job that seemed too good to be true. A month later, the pressure cooker of stress, anxiety and general soul-searching created by 9/11 had resulted in my seeking therapy over the morass of personal insecurities revealed by the job, having a huge falling out with my mom, and a situation that spelled the certain implosion of my marriage.
It was a big bloody mess. Kind of like surgery.
Surgery is painful and bloody and messy and it always takes a lot longer to recover from than you think it will. But you do it because you need to. Because there are things inside you that are killing you, either slowly or quickly, and you need to get them taken out.
I can’t speak to the global or even national effect of September 11. I can only say that for me, it was the scalpel making the first incision. It was painful and messy and it took a lot longer to recover from than I thought it would.
But without that falling out with my mom, we wouldn’t have had our issues worked out before she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I would not have been able to have some of the talks we had before she finally passed on, which were some of the best conversations of my life.
Without the implosion of my creaking, dysfunctional marriage, my husband and I would never have been able to build a new, healthy, genuinely happy one. I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to walk alongside some friends as they experienced their own marital problems with a deeper understanding of what they were going through and the ability to encourage them with my own experiences.
Without dealing with my insecurities, I would never have gotten the opportunity to run my own business, work as an agency copywriter, win a couple of awards for copywriting, and eventually find a career path that played to all my strengths, rather than my parent-induced fears.
Nobody wants to enter the whirlwind. And there are no guarantees that you won’t be utterly broken by them. But when you come out, you can sometimes emerge broken–and restored.