Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th x 8

It feels like a lot more than 8 years have passed since the attacks on our city rocked the world. For the families who lost people, I can only imagine how raw this day still feels. It's only 8 years after all. But the rest of the world, the day passed out of horror into history. Without the Bush Administration to connect 9/11 to every action they took, the day has been downgraded to another world event beyond our control.

Last weekend, we took a family trip to Governor's Island by ferry. Me, Jeff, Phee and both Grandparents rode the boat across the water with 9/11 families, firefighters and NYPD officers who were inaugurating the first "Run to Remember" in honor of those lost 8 years ago. They wore t-shirts with pictures of family members killed on planes or in the towers. There were even some little kids who may have been among the 30 babies born fatherless after the attack. It reminded me that this day is still very fresh for so many New Yorkers. Maybe others have moved on from the tragedy, but these people never will.

As for me, I will always remember the emotion of that day and the days that followed. It was because of 9/11 that I decided to pursue my passion to become a writer and novelist full-time. Each year, I try to eek out my savings to last just one more year. Last year on this day, I started a membership at a writing space in Union Square. It was my attempt to be part of a writing community and to find a place to work consistently. In this past year, I did a re-write of my novel, "In the Last Days of Bombay." I spent hours there sending out letters to agents, and writing my blog when I couldn't concentrate on much else. Just before the summer, I finally got an agent for the book. That only took me 7 years! It was a great day for me, with a real feeling of accomplishment at last. Now I have an advocate to sell my work, to help me finally get published. But recently, I decided that the space was too far from home and cost too much. Today would be my last official day there. They told me if I turned in my key, I'd get my $5 deposit back. Tempting as that may be :) I decided to keep the key in hopes that I can rejoin the space one day and perhaps get back there to work on a new novel.

9/11 was a catalyst for me to live my dream and to attempt to become a published author. I'm a little bit further along on that path than I was 8 years ago, but not quite there yet. Our world has changed a lot since then, and yet many things stay the same. We may have a new President, but we're still involved in two wars. People may have rebuilt and resumed their lives, but Ground Zero still remains an open gash on our city's downtown landscape. My heart goes out to those families still grieving, but we are survivors and hopefully, we will all find the strength and fortitude to keep moving forward.

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