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Where were you on September 11th?

Fourteen years ago today, our country was attacked, and nearly three thousand people were09ba95250318697fb390d3f03923da6f killed. It is an event that has changed not only our country, but the whole world. It has forever left a mark on each of our hearts, and if there is one question that you could ask any (adult) American, it is “Where were you on 9/11?”. What were you doing when the planes hit? It may be the one question that everyone will have an answer to.

As for me, I was eight years old when it happened. I was at my dad’s house that day, and I had to get up very early because he always had to take us to daycare before school so he could go to work. I vaguely remember him watching it on the news, after the first plane hit. I remember it being on the radio while we were in the car driving to the home daycare that I went to. When we got to the daycare, the news was on, and you could see that both towers were on fire. I remember all of this, but mostly what I remember is the fear. I didn’t fully understand everything that was happening, but I knew that people were saying that it was intentional, which terrified me. Now, I was not a particularly sheltered kid growing up. I grew up moving back and forth between my mom’s and my dad’s, and as anyone that has been through that knows, there are different rules at each house. And at my dad’s house, it was perfectly acceptable to watch shows like Cops or America’s Most Wanted. And we did, on a semi-regular basis. All this to say that at eight years old, I had seen more terrible things on television than a lot of other kids my age. But nothing ever seemed as real or as threatening as 9/11. Most of all, I remember crying and begging my dad not to leave me. I don’t think I was so much afraid for myself as I was that if he left, the terrorists would attack his job as well, and I might never see him again. Obviously, at twenty two, I know that terrorists are not likely to be interested in a Comcast office in Vacaville. But that’s what 9/11 did. It caused fear in everyone, or at least everyone that was old enough to understand what was happening.

However, that was only the effect of 9/11 for a few hours. What happened after the initial shock is far more important. We pulled together. We protected each other, and we supported each other. So many people ran into the buildings after the planes hit, trying to help as many people as they could, putting their own welfare to the side. Osama Bin Laden wanted to cause division among us, and to break our country down. And he failed. So many emotions are related to the September eleventh attacks: fear, profound sadness, intense anger. However, another that can be associated with that day is pride. I for one am very proud of how our nation reacted to these attacks. More than anything, people responded with love. You can see this in the videos of first responders running towards the burning buildings, trying to get as many people out as possible. You can see this in the hundreds of videos of people crying in the street, over people that they had never met. And you can hear it in all of the phone calls that were made that day, particularly those made by people who were not sure they would survive the ordeal. There are two quotes that I always think of in relation to 9/11. One is by J.K. Rowling, and one was by Mr. Rogers. J.K. Rowling was on the Oprah show a few years back (the interview was not about the 9/11 attacks), and one question that she was asked garnered a particularly touching answer. You can view the exchange in the video below. Only the first two minutes or so is really applicable to this topic, but obviously you are welcome to watch it all. I just think that you get more of a feel for the meaning behind the quote when you hear it spoken, rather than simply reading the words.

The other quote that I think we should focus on was spoken by none other than Mr. Rogers. As far as I know, he was not even talking about 9/11 at the time, but even if he wasn’t, it is very MrRogersapplicable. You can read this quote to the right of the page. I think this is a great quote to live by, whether it be about the September 11th attacks, or something completely unrelated. “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” And that is what Osama Bin Laden and his followers were not counting on. They were not expecting us to rally together. They expected us to crumble. But they were wrong. Americans used that incident to bond together, rather than allowing it to tear us apart. And it is for these reasons that no matter how screwed up our government may seem, no matter how vicious political parties and disagreements amongst them may get, I will always be proud to be an American. We forget sometimes that regardless of any other differences, politically or otherwise, we are all human. We all have loved ones. We all have hopes, dreams, and fears. We often forget these basic truths, but on that day we remembered. And because of that, our attackers were not successful. They did hurt us, there is no doubt about that. But they did not break us. And therefore, they did not win.

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10 Things That Make Me Happy

Ok guys, since I started writing my blog, I have started a full time school schedule as well as working three jobs. So in addition to not having written in a while (obviously) I’ve been too brain dead to come up with much inspiration to blog about most of the time. I’ve been honestly trying to think of something to write about for about two weeks now. Anyways, this particular post will not be nearly as intellectual as my previous post. But let’s be honest, life would get boring if that was all that we were ever exposed to. I thought it might be fun to just write something that may help any potential readers (assuming anyone actually reads these things) to get to know the writer a little bit. So here it is, 10 things that make me happy.

  1. Rainy Days. Rainy days make me very happy. Sometimes irrationally so. About a month 37ac687bc829160b9f878345329a79e5ago, we got about ten minutes worth of rain while I was leaving work. I raced home and immediately made my husband go for a walk with me. At midnight. And all because of what probably amounted to ten rain drops. Oh and the amazing smell that comes along with it. By the way, that amazing smell has a name. It’s Petrichor. The things you learn from Doctor Who.
  2. Debating. People that don’t know me well may not realize it, but I am a very competitive person. I am also incredibly stubborn. Now this does apply to things like games and stuff (it would apply to sports if I had a modicum of interest in playing sports, but I don’t). But this especially applies to debates. Seriously, ask my husband. There have been so many debates that he has conceded purely out of frustration. But I just can’t get enough of it (provided that the other person is able to debate, and not just argue and throw insults back and forth). In all fairness, I grew up in a household where we debated things all the time, for fun. We enjoy having interesting conversations, even when our opinions are different. But I am getting off topic. The point is I am very happy after a good debate, especially if I win (and who isn’t, really?).
  3. Learning. Learning new things actually makes me legitimately happy. I was always the nerd growing up, the one that actually enjoyed school and would read obscene amounts in her free time. Now that I am back in school full time after about three years of watching most of my peers in school (and not being able to go myself due to life circumstances), I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I am really enjoying being in a classroom again.
  4. Family. I have a fantastic family, both the one that I was born in to, and the one that I married in to. My husband is an amazing man, who has more patience and understanding10441415_10152442469927566_2464654783738544030_n for others than I will ever understand. A lot of people in our society spend a lot of time and energy complaining about their in-laws, but I think mine are pretty awesome. They are incredibly kind and generous people, and I am very thankful that I am (apparently) the exception to the rule in our world. And the family that I was born in to is incredible as well. They are great for so many reasons. They are always fun to be around, always interesting conversations to be had. There is always great food around. Seriously, even my ten year old sister is a good cook (a trait that sadly did not get passed on to me). I am incredibly lucky to have all these people in my life, and I know that truly is a blessing.
  5. Friends. I have never been someone that has a huge group of friends. That has never been my style, yet I have never really lacked in meaningful relationships. I tend to form closer relationships with a select few, rather than more shallow relationships with a lot of 35815_1306635635096_4244909_npeople. But I have a couple of truly fantastic friends, that I don’t 58392_433339337565_6626142_nknow what I would do without. I have known my friend Christina since I was 14 years old, and I am now 22 (that’s 8 years, for those that don’t enjoy math). We have been friends through so many things; big and small.Her crazy personality helped to bring me out of my shell more than almost anyone else, and no matter how long we go without seeing each other (or even, as life gets busier, talking to each other), we always pick up where we left off. I am also very happy to have my best friend (technically cousin, but its always been more of a friendship than a familial relationship), Ethan. We are scarily similar in some aspects (stubbornness, sarcasm, our tendency to get obsessive over things) and insanely different in others (he enjoys metal music, I have always felt you can pretty much achieve the same sound by putting a fork in a running blender). But somehow it works very well. I can’t speak for him, but I laugh harder when we are hanging out then I do in most other circumstances. These friendships add so much to my life, and I sincerely hope that they will continue on for the rest of our lives.
  6. My cats. Yes, I did just transition from two meaningful and long paragraphs about friendsIMG_2170 IMG_0040_2and family to a post about my two pets. Subtlety has never been my strongest talent. Nonetheless, I have two cats, named Hunter and Houdini, and they do bring a lot of happiness to our home.  They can also drive me crazy, like when they wake me up at six in the morning, demanding to be fed. But that is a different story, for a different day.
  7. Ride-Alongs. For those that don’t know, a ride along is when you ride around with a police officer for a day and observe as they do their job. I am fortunate enough to have a family friend that is a police officer that is willing to let me tag along with him about once a month, and I love it. I plan to be in law enforcement after I get my degree, and I love getting an up close look at it on a regular basis.
  8. Having a clean house. Now don’t confuse this with me saying that I enjoy cleaning. In fact, most of the time I really hate cleaning. However, I do really love the feeling when my house is clean and organized.
  9. Netflix. Netflix is amazing. I love being able to come home after a long day at work, and watch any of my favorite shows. It is a very cheap way to pass the time, and they actually have a great selection nowadays. (I mean, they have all ten seasons of Criminal Minds, what more could you ask for?).
  10. Music. I love listening to music. All different kinds of music (with the exception of the fork-in-blender music that I mentioned earlier). Music has a way of brightening up any day, and making almost any task a little more enjoyable. One of my all time favorite songs is one that I found on an episode of Criminal Minds. Someday We’ll Move to a Small Farm (And Sit and Watch the Snow Fall). Yes, it has a very long-winded title, but it is an absolutely beautiful song, and one that I would highly recommend. It is one fool proof way for me to find a couple minutes of peace, and just think about the good things in life, no matter what else is going on. And that is the truly wonderful thing about music.

Well, there you have it. 10 things that make me happy. I would love to hear from you guys as well. Do you share any of these interests? If not, what are some things that always make your day a little brighter? Feel free to leave any answers in the comments section!

My Hero Is…

One of my all time heroes is Emma Watson. For those of you that don’t know, Emma Watson isimage the actress that played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies (which in itself is enough reason to love her, but I have more, I promise). Since filming the Harry Potter movies she has helped design a clothing line, gone back to school (even though she has said she will never again have to work for money), and become the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. And she is only 25 years old.

I think that all of these achievements are incredible, but the one that I am most excited about is her position as Goodwill Ambassador. In any interview of hers that I have seen or read, you can see how much of a determined and passionate person she is. She also exudes an air of confidence, while still seeming very humble, which can be a hard quality to find in anyone, let alone a celebrity (and even more especially someone who has been famous since childhood).

In September 2014, Emma Watson gave a speech at the United Nations, launching a campaign called He for She. The point of the campaign is to encourage men and boys to join the fight for women’s rights.image The issue of women’s rights is one that is very near to my heart. I plan to go into law enforcement after I get my degree, and there are a lot of people in the world (and I do mean in our world. In America, in California, and in my case in little old Vacaville.) that would say that I am doomed to fail because of my gender. In China, many baby girls are left in the streets because boys are considered to be of much higher value to the people that live there. All over the world, girls are being sold in to the sex industry, or into marriage in order to help their families get by (or possibly even worse, just because they will sell). Many men in society feel that they can not be sensitive, that they can’t cry, or express their true feelings for fear of being seen as less manly. Men are often ashamed to ask for help, particularly men struggling with mental illness of some sort. In fact, as I learned from Ms. Watson’s speech, suicide is the biggest killer of men in the United Kingdom. Even in the more developed countries of the world, we have not even come close to achieving gender equality. Emma Watson has done a lot to try and change that, and from what I perceive about her character, I don’t believe that she will stop until it has been achieved.

I admire people that care about other people, and I hugely admire people that take the time toimage actually do something, and fight for what they believe in. Emma Watson is a hero of mine because she has done just that. She has seen something wrong in our world, something that she cares deeply about, and she has decided to do something about it. I think that we can all learn from people like that. One of the most important things I think we can do as human beings is to fight for what we think is right. And that is why Emma Watson is my hero, because she fights for what is right, in a world that would have been totally fine if she decided to live her life frivolously and selfishly with her millions of dollars. Instead, she chose to do what she could to change a very real problem in our society.

And I think that is pretty wonderful.

My Hero Is Series

Hey guys, so I think one thing that I want to do for this blog is to write about people that inspire me. I am someone that tries to find people that I admire and then behave in a way that I hope would make me an admirable person as well. I do want to be able to write about other things as well, so I am thinking about making this a once a month thing. I am also a big reader, and I can get a bit obsessive over certain tv shows and movies, so I can’t guarantee that all of the people that I write about will be real. But then again, most people I know have at least  one fictional character that they look up to, so maybe we will find something in common :). So that being said, I would love any feedback (this is my first time blogging, so there may be some bugs to work out), and I would love to hear about people that inspire you as well. Thanks for reading!

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