I was a senior in high school on September 11, 2001. Now that I have a daughter, one of my favorite things in her baby book is a letter that I wrote on that day in my homeroom leadership class. I remember one of my teachers saying that watching the images on the television were more important then anything he could teach that day.
He was right.
I took out a piece of notebook paper and wrote a letter to my future child. I told him/her what I thought it meant to be an American. I talked about the American Dream, how thankful I was for my education, family, safety and then I stopped. I realized that no one really knows how safe they are. The American’s in New York City and Washington and all those that boarded those planes that day, thought they were going to work for a normal day. They thought they were safe.
Now we all hope and pray terrorism is the extreme. But our lives can change in a second. It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been personally affected by cancer or heart disease. There are so many risks and dangers out there. But the thing that I took away the most from September 11, was the bravery and heroism. The first responders, some of them ordinary people running to help others just so someone could have a chance to live another day. To have just one more ordinary day.
To live on.
Because of that day and that moment when we were all attacked, I never waste one second. That is why now every time I’m exhausted from caring for my beautiful 14-month-old daughter and I want to take a nap when she does, I don’t. I write. I wake up at 5 a.m. so I can get some good productive hours of writing in because I want to live my dream. I don’t want to wait.
It would be easier to write when she’s older and less dependant on me. But I’m not going to do that. I’m constantly moving forward. All those that lost their lives on September 11, 2011 never had a September 12 or the next week, month and so on after that to move forward towards their dreams. The fact is, you just never know. And that is just what I told my future child in that letter I wrote 10 years ago on September 11. I told her to never wait for anything she wants.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since I won the National Scholastic Writing Competition for a short story in high school. I’ve always kept moving forward with my craft and that is because of how that day affected me personally.
I’ve met some goals. I’m an accomplished freelanced journalist of ten years (yes, I started volunteering for local publications in 2001.) I’m published in non-fiction and working on my second non-fiction book. I’m teaching webinars and online writing courses and everyday striving closer to my goal of being published in fiction.
I will get there.
Are you working on living your dream? Are you moving forward? How did September 11, 2001 change you?
I had the great privilege of interning in New York City with Rubenstein Public Relations firm. It was an incredible experience and I still use what I learned everyday. This past summer I returned to New York City for the annual Romance Writers of America Conference. It was great to be back in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple but I loved seeing the progress of the World Trade Center Memorial site (pictured here.)
Out of respect of honoring the memory of September 11, I’m not posting announcements this Friday. For purchase information on my book, workshop and upcoming events please visit www.NatalieCMarkey.com