Reading Angela’s post about her 9-11 flashbulb memory has gotten me thinking about what i was doing 9 years ago.

It was two weeks before my scheduled move to San Diego. I was a sassy 18 years old, definitely in that stage where “i’m 18 years old and getting ready to move to college. I’m so old, so knowledgeable and I can do whatever I want.” I was awake bright and early, because it was my (ex)bf’s 18th birthday and we had “so much planned” (really? I can’t even recall what was planned. I’m pretty sure by normal adult standards, it was insignificant. Haha, we probably had plans to movie hop!).

It was just before 6am, and I was walking out to the kitchen to start my day. My dad was there, watching the news (not out of the ordinary). I started telling him about all the things I had planned for the day (seriously, what was I supposed to do that day?!) and he immediately cut me off and told me that I wasn’t going ANYWHERE that day.

Immediately these thoughts began spinning through my head “Say what? Excuuuuuse me, did you say I couldn’t go out? I am 18 years and I can do what I want and did you not hear what my plans for the day were?!” But before I could whine about how I was 18 years old, an adult who could do WHATEVER I WANTED because hello, I was moving to San Diego and WOULD do whatever I wanted, our attention was drawn back to the news coverage. Wait, what? Why is that plane flying towards that building?

And in that moment, everything changed. That moment where I was 18 years old, so sure that I knew more about life than my dad did? I’ll never forget it, adolescent ranting and all. I’ll never forget the addiction to watching the news, the need to know what was going on, even if none of it was good. I eventually did get of the house that day, but sadly it was never really about celebrating. It was about praying together. Crying together. Keeping friends’ spirits up when they realized they couldn’t get ahold of family or friends. It was about learning to deal with the clusterf*ck of emotions – fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness, grief.

It was about loving my country, and realizing what it meant to be proud to be an American.

My thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the horrible events.