Where were you?
The events in our lives are often marked by memories that are seared right into the deepest part of our psyches. Especially dramatic events… not just those that are tragic or traumatic… but also those events filled with joy and happiness. Without the collection of memories and mental pictures, life would feel shallow and perhaps, un-lived.
I rely on memories to help me frame the context of when life events occurred and who I was at the time. Do you remember where you were…
when Challenger exploded…
Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated after 73 seconds of flight on January 28, 1986. I was eating a bagel and yogurt in the student center at Colorado School of Mines during my senior year of engineering school. Being a science nerd, I was glued to the large screen television broadcast of the launch.
I remember the shock and sadness of watching the events unfold in real time. It was a blow to me personally as well as to the whole science world… and every one of us at Mines felt the huge loss of the brilliant scientific minds that perished that day.
I was hobbling on crutches at home after an ankle surgery when my sister called and frantically shouted: Don’t worry… Jeff’s okay… he was playing golf with a client in New Jersey.
What? I was an hour-time-zone-west-of-her… two hours removed from my brother’s… too early to have a television blaring… I had no idea what she was talking about. She screamed this time: Turn on the news!!
On a normal day, my brother Jeff would have been either in one of the Trade Centers or in his office about 4 blocks away.
Terror… devastation… horror… I watched in real time as the plane hit the second tower. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Like all of us, I was forever changed.
as bombs blasted the Boston Marathon…
I was at lunch with my two bosses handing them my letter of resignation. Above us was a large screen television showing the first explosion on Boylston Street… the panic… and then the second explosion. It was Tax Day.
Significant moments in my own life have been marked by huge world events. Yours too. We will likely always remember where we were and what we were doing when these things happened.
So what does it mean?
You’ll have to decide for yourself.
But for me… it’s a reminder that I belong to something much bigger than myself… that the world does not revolve around me… I am not at the center of the universe nor are my issues and problems.
It’s about perspective. It’s about shrinking my ego. I can get so caught up in all the details and circumstances that surround my closed-in little world.
But I desire to be someone bigger and to do something bigger. I am unlimited… and finally I am really starting to believe that there is more in store for me. It’s been a challenging climb up my own private Mount Everest.
I am moving to Colorado at the end of June. I have exciting new projects in the works. It is time.