It was the exact moment I looked at the TV and saw the news report as I was getting ready to go into school. I hadn’t been feeling well and was heading in for half-a-day. It hadn’t clicked what was happening as my father received a phone call from his friend about what was happening.
When I arrived at school, the hallways were quiet. As I passed each doorway, the TVs were on and the lights were out. Each classroom had been watching the news of this unbelievable day.
It still wasn’t clicking with me what this all meant, but I knew how off I felt from the moment I woke up and asked to stay home. I had separated my feelings from the reality and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t upsetting me like the rest of the teachers and other students. I just felt off in the oddest way. I couldn’t explain it and no one else seemed to be feeling the same way.
It slowly sunk in what was brought to our doorstep. The thing that happened in another town, another state, it wasn’t so far away anymore.
Today, it’s been 20 years and yet it feels like I was just walking into a quiet school as the people in my little world began feeling the shift in the air of the world outside.
The darkness on that day made two kinds of people bringing out the true nature of so many, good and ugly. Tragedy can do that. Tragedy can make you see the true colors of others and ourselves.
It’s not always black and white.
Sometimes what we are seeing is based on how we feel and how it’s awaken our own true colors. Honesty is important in these situations; honesty with ourselves and others. Are we looking through a dark pair of lenses full of hate and anger? Or are we seeing things for what they are?
I had to keep my mind leveled in this kind of situation. I had to remember how differently people are raised, how people are taught in a way I wasn’t.
People weren’t a fan of that kind of thought process.
I have found myself back in that mindset. I can’t allow hate in my heart. I can’t allow others to tell me how I’m supposed to feel right now. I can’t allow myself to hold onto the darkness.
I’m not going to let myself drown in quicksand. I’m done thrashing to get out.
Allowing shitty people to consume our lives can darken all corners and take away our existence.
Remember the good of others and the sacrifices people made. Remember the supportive people and the compassion. Remember those who didn’t have a chance to be more than that day.
Always remember the good that came out of that day. Always remember that we still have a chance to be more. Always remember to be better than those who choose to be shitty…choose to be the worse.