On 9/11, I was a brand-new Freshman in college. My adulthood has been formed in a number of ways by that day.
I remember waking up and checking news on a Legend of the Five rings blog site and thinking it was a hoax at first. Then spending hours going down internet rabbit holes, needing to know more.
My one class that day spent the first 60 minutes just trying to process what had happened, and our teacher, excellent as she was, wove it back into the subject of the class, on international relations (The West and China, in the class’ case, but it worked).
That night, the dorms at Indiana University had impromptu group grief counseling sessions. Walking back to our dorm, I remember talking with a group about how if we don’t want this to lead to a war, we should contact our representatives, tell them to find a peaceful solution. That didn’t exactly pan out.
Not long after that, I borrowed The Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth from the library, which set me on the path of designing my own major (Creative Mythology) out of a need to tell stories, perhaps derived from a desire for some kind of control, to be able to make sense of the world. That major then put me on the path towards becoming a novelist, of going from ‘I want to write fiction some day’ to ‘I am going to start doing this thing, now.’
Would I have still become a writer without 9/11? Probably. But that day, the effects it had on the USA as a country, psychologically, socially, politically, economically, have created the world that I live in.
“Never Forget.” I’m part of the 9/11 generation. How could I ever forget? All I can do is try to move on.