11 years later

Photo credit || via swissmissI took these snapshots while in NYC in August. Quite captivated by the power of the 9/11 Memorial, these are the only photos I took that morning. I encourage visitors who wish to visit to reserve a free ticket in advance.

(This is the same story I shared a year ago on my blog.) 11 years later and yet all the events of that Tuesday are still so vividly present. I was 22 and had just purchased a loft in midtown Atlanta in June 2001. My styling work was keeping me quite busy. A mentor had recently asked me about what I was passionate about. I told him fashion. He told me that I was lucky to be working in an industry I loved.

That morning I awoke with excitement as I was going to prep for a photoshoot with a big studio that produced the most catalog shoots in the city. My phone rang and it was my old boyfriend from college telling me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately pictured a small prop plane, and he said to turn on CNN. The rest of the morning was a blur and yet so clear at the same time. The second plane hit. Rumors that other planes were likely headed to other targets spread on the news. There was fear that a plane might be headed to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) located just 5 miles away. I could do nothing but watch all the news coverage. I called the studio to tell them that I was going to be late. They told me it was my choice whether I wanted to come in or not, but the steaming of the outfits and organizing the props would need to get done to be photographed the next day. I called my dad and my mom and I don't remember many details of those conversations other than feeling relieved to just be able to talk to them. After a few hours, I decided I needed to put in a couple hours of work and tried to clear my head while I steamed clothes.

I'll never forget the conversation that afternoon with my cousin Cindy who was 13 and living in Chicago. She and her little brother Brian (age 5) had come home from school and our grandmother (Ahpo) was asking them why the same bad movie kept playing on television. She thought there was something wrong with the channels. She couldn't comprehend that what she was seeing could possibly be real.

When I finally talked to the above mentioned mentor (who was living and still lives in NY) a few days later, I told him I changed my mind. He asked, "About what?". I told him that I originally answered his question with a naive point of view. I wasn't passionate about fashion. I was passionate about people. Always have been and always will be.