I’ve been working in New York City for almost two and a half years now.
I started working here on June 4th, 2012.
I moved into the city on December 1st, 2012.
I moved out of the City on May 31st, 2014.
With all the changes that have happened in my life and the lives of others over these past few years, the city seems to always remain the same. However, there are still certain days that have an impact on me and at this point, will most likely continue to have an impact on me for the rest of my life; those significant days that bring crashing waves of memories because it changed your life.
As I commuted into the city this morning to go to work, there was a difference that I felt.
Today is the 13th anniversary of the day that New York City’s twin towers were attacked. I was in my sixth grade English class at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Edison, New Jersey when it happened. The impact of this event never hit as close to home as it has in my recent years since I’ve had an attachment to New York City.
When I entered Penn Station this morning, there was a memorial ceremony taking place in remembrance of 9/11. I was going to continue on my way to work, but I stopped to watch for a few minutes and my suddenly eyes began tearing.
I had no idea what came over me, but a wave of emotions took over and I was completely filled with sadness. As I got on the subway, I started thinking back on my life in New York City and how much it has changed me. I started thinking of all the past and present struggles in my life. I thought about why in the world I even chose to work in such an overwhelming place. As I looked around at the people who were next to me on the subway, I wondered if they were thinking the same thing.
I never thought that I would end up here. To be honest, I hated the idea of even being in the city when I was younger. I hated the smell, hated the crowds, hated the speed of everything.
Not until I started working here did I embrace this lifestyle.
This morning, I thought about how strong of a city New York really is and moreover, how strong the people inhabiting this city are. I thought about the impact that it has on millions of people.
I remembered why I fell in love with this city, with all of its seductive qualities; its chaos.
Then, realized why I became so sad this morning. I started to think about how close to home 9/11 really does hit me now and how close to home it hits to not only the people who live or work here, but to those who are outside of New York City; It hits not only just the United States, but the entire world.
New York City is made up of an endless combination of human beings. There are people living and working here who have come from every corner of the Earth. In the few years that I have been here, I’ve been moved by so many people who all have a unique story and attachment to New York City. To me, this place, this concrete jungle is my home. It’s no surprise that when I traveled all the way to Australia, I introduced myself as being from New York City instead of my actual hometown in New Jersey.
Everyone has some sort of attachment to this place. For some reason, it attracts all types of people and we will never fully understand why. It’s dirty, loud, and overall stressful to be in. But I do love it.
I’ve fallen in love a few times before – three to be exact. But the one love that has changed me the most is the love I have for New York City.
I know it’s a little melodramatic and exaggerated to say, but I fell truly, madly, and deeply in love with this place.
I watch television shows like Friends, Sex and the City, and How I Met Your Mother and I can fully understand and relate to everything that they reference.
To my friends who haven’t experienced the city the way I have, who haven’t worked or lived here, believe me when I say that you can never fully understand. There’s just something about being in New York City constantly; something that keeps us on our toes and wanting more. But, it’s definitely not for everyone.
So, on this day, when I think about the attack that happened on 9/11, I’m overcome with emotion. Because how dare someone attack something I love so much?
There will always be days that I will never forget. The day I started working here. The day I moved in. The day I moved out. And today.
Today is one of those days.