Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Thought for Today

This photo is from the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which I visited this summer on my own while Brendan attended a friend's bachelor party. Visiting is, of course, a very emotional experience, and one that I didn't mind having solitude for. I was reflecting today about a specific quote from a movie I watched at the museum that has stayed with me since. It was a woman who lost her husband that day. She said something to the effect of (I'm paraphrasing here), "My whole life was ruined that day, but the years kept passing, and one day I had a new life." I see this quote as incredibly powerful; I think because it speaks so poignantly about a very real fear that I have: the fear that I will lose someone close to me unexpectedly.

For as long as I can remember, I've had some degree of anxiety about losing people I love. I often have catastrophic visions of what my life would be like in these imagined worst case scenarios. Maybe it's a form of self-protection: by imagining the worst, I am ultimately forced to mentally prepare for it. Of course, it's no way to spend life, so I do try to stop these thoughts whenever they occur. However, this quote reminded me of the strength that the human spirit is capable of. Even when encountering the worst, we can rebuild our lives if we have to. They say about life that no one makes it out alive. I'd add to that that no one makes it out without encountering a major loss. At 28, I've already lived through a few. Perhaps when I have anxiety, I'm internally doubting my ability to cope with a loss, but I think the 9/11 memorial is one visual example I have that from disaster comes eventual healing and a literal new horizon:

When I look at that photo, it inspires me to have more faith in myself. I'm a very tiny part of a very large world, which is a small part of a big galaxy, but I have more strength than I give myself credit for. I can use my life to listen to, love, and empathize with fellow humans instead of worrying about what I have no control over.

My love goes out to those who lost on 9/11, on the off chance that any of them read this blog. I don't have the right words, but I have the hope that all found strength.


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