I love my age. Not the fact that I'm aging, but I love the year I was born. 1990.
Most of my love for this age is because of technology. I truly believe I was the perfect age I would have liked to be during the evolutions of Xanga (middle school), Myspace (high school), Facebook (college), Twitter (college & adulthood) and Instagram (adulthood).
The other reason I'm proud to be this age is that I'm one of the last of a generation that remembers bits of life pre-9/11. When I was in the 6th grade, I watched our world as we knew it crumble on a television screen before my eyes and I can recount that day over and over in my mind.
Most people any younger than me cannot.
September 10, 2001
I'm sure I had major 6th-grade concerns that day. I'm not sure if I was writing in a diary at that point, but I hope I can someday find some snippets of that time-frame somewhere. If I had to guess, I'm sure some of my biggest concerns were; my locker needed to be cleaned and organized before it was inspected/graded by our teachers, wondering which "friend" I'd be sitting with at lunch (to balance out some drama, of course), freaking out about an upcoming play-off for first chair in band, and other general "I'm so ugly" 6th-grade thoughts.
I'm sure it was the most normal of days.
No real worries.
America was safe.
September 11, 2001
This day and all that has happened has given me a significant context to the "history" that unfolded before us. Until that morning, I had never heard of "Al Qaeda" or "Osama." Terror wasn't familiar to me. War was a past-tense subject. Mass killings weren't something to be concerned with. Honestly, that's all the kind of things that happened elsewhere. Not in America. Not where I live. Being young, adults didn't bring up those kinds of foreign affairs with us. There had been no need. Except that day...
We were worried.
There was terror.
There would be war.
America didn't feel so safe anymore.
Don't get me wrong, my small-town sixth-grade life didn't dramatically change on September 11, 2001.
I didn't know anyone that was killed.
I didn't have any military family members.
I had never flown our skies.
I didn't fully understand it all.
But, as an American, my life did change. I remember the months of fear. I remember the mass confusion. I remember the pit-of-the-stomach achy-feeling of "what's next?" I now understand that it's those same feelings that my teachers and parents were shielding from us so well that day.
September 11 isn't pictures in a history book.
It's not just something tragic.
It's not a commemorative coin.
It's not a yearly documentary on news outlets.
It's not memorial memes and social media graphics.
It's not a fountain in NYC.
It's not even the world as I've always known it to be.
It was real.
I lived that day.
I relive that day.
I remember that day.
It has shaped us.
And it hurts every year.