19 September 2013


Warning - venting ahead.... 

Honesty.  I don't know why I feel like writing about this today but I do.  Ok maybe I do know why...  I guess (unfortunately) I've become quite skilled at knowing when people are lying.  I've got good intuition.  I didn't listen to it when T lied to me - I trusted him and our relationship and thought I was just being silly and obviously he wouldn't lie to me. Obviously I was quite wrong! I've now learned to trust my gut.  I'm perceptive and can usually figure out people's "tells".  For instance I have one friend who overcompensates when she is lying which came up a few weeks ago when I was concerned about a mutual friend of ours.  It's sad to think that our once really strong friendship has now been tarnished by a small lie and now I second guess everything she says to me. Then there is another friend who keeps battling to tell the truth but is hiding - I think because they are afraid of repercussions or damaging our relationship and yet I wish they would know that they lying is going to hurt it more.  They may think that they are hiding what they are really doing but again it's hard to put it past me.  We all struggle with things and have our own inner demons and fears that drive us to do things that we aren't always proud of but at some point we have to be truthful to those that care for us. 

Maybe it's not the easiest thing to do and yes we all shy away from the truths that are difficult to say but why, when you are given the opportunity to come clean and be honest, do people choose otherwise? I do think that people sometimes feel confident in their lies - that they are good at hiding but realistically, in the end, the truth comes out.  I just don't understand why it's hard to be honest.  Is it because you think I can't handle the truth? Trust me - at this point in my life there isn't much that I can't handle.  Though I wear my heart on my sleeve, I think I'm stronger and more resilient than people think.  I fly by my own wings.  I can get through anything and I'll tell you what, I will be better for it.  Just don't lie to me.  You will get caught and then there is no going back to fix that.  If I give you the opportunity to tell the truth - do it.   

Reflections of 9/11

The magnitude of this day never seems to escape me.  It has been twelve years and yet I am still overcome with emotion - thinking of what could have been and remembering the horror of that day. This morning watching the clock strike 8:46, I observed a moment of silence.  

It has been twelve years but the events of that day are as clear as it was yesterday.  Hearing the roar of a plane in the middle of Manhattan.  Having to address a crowd of primarily New Yorkers to tell them that the Trade Centres were hit and watching panic come over people's face knowing that their friends and loved ones were there.  Seeing people frantically dialling their cellphones to no avail as there was no phone service.  

Based out of Toronto, I traveled for work frequently and rarely ever told my parents (who resided in Windsor) where I was going or where I was staying.  Oddly, this was the one time I had given them my hotel information and when they saw the plane crash on tv, they phoned the Hyatt to be told that our location was just a few blocks away.  

Here is how my morning unfolded - After getting the keynote speaker situated and the conference underway, I turned my attention to ballroom 2 where I was running through a rehearsal of the Golden Marble Awards presentation that was to happen later that afternoon.  It was the last day of a three day conference & awards show - the next day was our free day and we had big plans of lunch at the World Trade and lots of shopping!  One of our techs got a phone call from Toronto ironically telling us that a small plane had hit the towers.  Instantly I asked for a live CNN feed and thought (rolling my eyes)  "I better call my mother - she is going to freak out".  As I dialed, they worked on getting the news on our big screens and as soon as my mom picked up I said "mom, it's meDon't worry, we are ok" and her reply was "no you are not.  they are naming your location as the next possible target. it's terrorists."  I asked her to call our office and let them know that we are all ok, told her & my dad that I loved them and that I had to go.  We watched the horror unfold on a giant screen and then we had to go in to the assembled group of 300 listening to the keynote speaker to let them know what was happening although we didn't really understand.  We were told that we had to remain inside as we were on the evacuation route and invited everyone to the ballroom so we could watch CNN together & try to understand what was happening. 

Once we got a hold on the gravity of the situation we gathered up food & supplies and took to the streets to see if we could help, give blood, do something.  We were turned back but not before witnessing the horror of people jumping out of the buildings or smelling what I can only assume was jet fuel burning.  Back in the ballroom we all just sat eyes glued to the big screen - that is until the buildings collapsed and shook us so bad that our ceiling plaster crumbled and the emergency sirens went off.  The group of us just grabbed our bags and headed for the door without a clue as to what was happening - the moments just completely surreal.  Again we were turned back due to the amount of people on the street and told to wait inside.  At that point we just sprang into action and got all of our supplies and boxes packed and brought to the in-hotel shipping department, got all our out of town guests checked back into their rooms and cots brought into one of the smaller ballrooms for those who had no where to go.  

Somehow we made it through that night and the next morning boarded a ferry to New Jersey to get on a bus that had come to get us from Upper New York and take us back towards the border.  We had no idea if we could even get home but our boss just wanted us out of danger and as close to Canada as possible.  It wasn't until I got home to my tiny little bachelor apartment days later that I finally cried - hit by the gravity of the situation and how close we were.  Survivors guilt hit most of us - feeling bad that we had left and not done anything to help.  I would have nightmares of the people coming up to us on the street with pictures of their lost loved ones, asking if we had perhaps seen them.  Holding on to the smallest possible hope that they were still alive and not buried in the rubble of WTC.  Hearing sirens would stop me in my path for years and instantly I would panic.  

This year I did finally return to the site of the attack and began to make peace with it all but it is something that will always be with me.  I will always remember.