Thursday, September 11, 2014

Not a Draft

I hate this day. Every year I struggle between facing my memories or keeping them locked away.

On the 10th anniversary I wrote a very good blog post. It really tells what I want it to. Every year on this day, I attempt to blog. Looking back, I've started a post on September 11th for the past 3 years that I can never make it through to post. I will try to recap today my past and present feelings.

The numbers "9/11" said together in any context gives me chills. A brief memory of the tragedy. Those numbers only mean one thing to me. Today marks the 13th anniversary. Thirteen years ago today is just as vivid as the month it happened. I still get emotional thinking about it.

This morning, as with most mornings, I innocently got in my car and tuned in to the Milwaukee NPR radio station. Within minutes I had tears running down my eyes. NPR was playing stories of loved ones who lost someone that day. The stories are just unimaginably heart-breaking. I don't want to think about it.

Time is moving so quickly.

I was in 6th grade when the twin towers were attacked and there are now 6 graders who weren't even born then. I've told you my connections, my memories, my experiences, so there is not much new you can learn from me. I just find it interesting to learn more about the events that took place 13 years ago and how much is different and the same.

The kids who lost parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts/uncles in the terrorist attack are now likely in their twenty's or close to it. It is weird to think. The two looming bright lights that lead to heaven at this time of the year probably don't help erase the horrific memories of many people. We did not even take a moment to be silent at work today, and there was no mention of the accounts by any of my coworkers.

As I grow up, I meet more and more people from around the world. It helps me realize how blessed we are. I have had foreign friends tell me stories of having to move because of war. Our own citizens are being tortured by foreign enemies- terrorist (ISIS). Gaza has virtually been flattened this year because of war and that's only the beginning.

There is nothing good about war. I'm just thankful our government seems to provide fairly decent protection. I hope that doesn't change.

My prayers are with the loved ones still struggling.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

WISCONSIN

This December will be the 10th anniversary of me living in Wisconsin. It is the longest I have EVER lived in one state and with 6 of those years in Milwaukee, it's the longest I have ever lived in one city. I know it is early but I've begun my reflections.....

I think it hasn't felt that long because the change from high school to college and then the abundant number of apartments I lived in throughout college and post-college. I've honestly spent a lot of hours of my life thinking about all the moving I've done and what impact it has on me, and my "conclusions" are inconclusive. Half of me says it's made me a better person and half of me says it's mentally twisted me beyond belief. One thing for certain is that it takes me less than a week to pick up on unique accents.

I've tried analyzing different people from the different places I've lived and yet again, I reach no good conclusions. Each place I've lived was during a different developmental phase of my life, so comparing is not apples to apples. All of this thinking only leads to generalizations and stereotyping.

Over the past 10 years I've learned how much of a bandwagon jumper I am. I mean, think about it.....I root for the Badgers, the Packers, and the Brewers, yet I've spent a lot of time outside of Wisconsin. I try to tell myself that I was too young before I moved here to understand sports, but Wisconsin was still not where I was raised. It's just not worth the torment to root for anyone else around here.

Since we moved so much during my childhood, my brother and I face a unique dilemma that many people never experience. For lack of a better word, we get bored very quickly. And I don't mean on a daily basis, but more like we don't really experience complacency like most people, I'd say. We certainly don't have a large fear of change.....I just had an AH-HA moment....

Fact: during my childhood, I experienced a lot of change. Change in culture, in friends, in towns/cities, in schools, in people, in food, etc., which made me learn how to adjust and cope with changes. MAYBE that's why Industrial Engineering is just right down my alley. In my field, I initiate, manage, sustain change. Who better to have that role than someone who is essentially an expert. ;) Note to any youngsters reading this who have moved a lot during a young age: become an Industrial Engineer!

One thing I haven't gotten used to here in Wisconsin is the weather. Every winter I have a sliver of hope that it won't get below 20 degrees it will only snow a couple of times and melt right away, yet every winter I die a little inside from -20 windchill and ruining 10 pairs of boots to salt every couple months. I've learned the best way to accommodate my winter depression is to travel often in winter to warmer places, it really helps.

In conclusion, all I can say is; Congrats Wisconsin, you have held me hostage for nearly 10 years, I will call you home at least for the next 10 years. I've enjoyed the past decade, but I must say, I have never been more ready for change.