In the last 24 hours I have been on a rollercoaster of emotion. I have sat down numerous times since last night trying to put into words what I am feeling and failing miserably. The one thing I can write is how incredibly grateful I am for all the love my friends and family bestowed on me the last 24 hours.
I thought I would be posting about my antics this past weekend. Shenanigans and an island I am officially obsessed with and didn’t want to leave. That feeling was amplified when I got home last night.
Island life really is a whole other world and as such I was blissfully ignorant of everything that had been occurring in New York and the Tristate area in the four days I was gone. I returned to the city last night exhausted from lack of sleep, because well who wants to sleep when you are having fun? I might have been sleep deprived, but I was still flying high on happiness. I called my mom to tell her I was safely home and to tease her with details from an epic week, only to get off the phone and be inundated by friends who were concerned and wanted to know if I was safe.
I was. But my mood turned completely dour. There had been an explosion in an area I had just been fifteen minutes prior. While the actual explosion was above ground, and I had been in the subway on a line I rarely take now, it was still a disconcerting at how close it had been.
Living in New York, I have always been well aware of risks, from muggings and rape to murder and yes a potential terrorist attack. While we don’t know who was responsible for this, this WAS terror. whether domestic or foreign, it was done to inflict fear.
But it also hasn’t.
As a New Yorker this is always in the back of my mind. From the moment I get on a subway or walk wall to wall with people in jam packed Midtown. In fact last night as I sat in the subway, I saw the MTA had rocked out new signs in the “See something. Say something campaign.” Every time something occurs abroad, I see a heavier police presence. For us it is a fact that New York has been and probably will be again targeted.
Perhaps that is what makes us jaded. I like to think it is realism. Whatever it is, it does not make us stop living.
It does not make us cower in fear and twiddle our fingers wondering when what happened abroad in countries like France and Turkey will occur here. Because it already has. And yet we still live. We send a strong middle finger salute because we won’t be silenced we won’t be so petrified we stop receiving the greatest gift we have been given. Life.
Fear can be paralyzing. Whether it comes from ourselves or as a result of others hatred. But living in a city that has not only experienced fear, but overcome it, and faces it every day, fear that has united us all against hatred. That has made us strong.
I am not going to lie, last night shook me. It shook all of us. going to brunch this morning, I noticed the quietness that usually basks the city in early mornings, but also the subduedness. Yet, a few hours later, we were back to our laughing selfs. Boozy brunch probably helped, but as a whole, we are resilient. They, whom ever they maybe, can try to inflict fear, but we aren’t cowed.
New York is still the most kickass city in the world.
To everyone who reached out in the last twenty-four hours. Thank you. You will never know how much it meant to me. Terror doesn’t destroy it, it unifies us. It shines the love. And it has definitely done that. <3