Today’s NaBloPoMo writing prompt revolves around the experience of a traumatic event.

If you were in New York on September 11th, I’m sure you’ve offered your own story. For most, I find, there is a sense of urgency to share their experience of this day. For me, I was walking on air. I had been cast in a Broadway play and it was the second day of rehearsal. I was elated to walk down 42nd street towards the studio, having no clue what had happened. The cast was filled with celebrities. As we heard about the events unfolding, these “stars” quickly turned into real people, all of us feeling real emotions and none of us more secure than the next.

Days and weeks after the attacks, I was met with a powerful sense of presence. My whole body tingled. I was not thinking about the past nor was I worried about the future. I was completely in the moment, seeing people on the street and in the subway as being a part of the universal experience of life. And I felt as though I was also being seen by these strangers in passing. We were all individuals but our energy was one.

When this sense of presence passed, a whoosh of fear leapt into my heart. That sense of security that I had taken for granted dropped out of me. I was still in a Broadway show, but everything around me seemed to be changing so rapidly. I danced with spirited freedom on one arm and fear of survival on the other. My dreamer self was overtaken by the staunch realist. Now, ten years later, I can see my trajectory as I slowly moved away from my artistic passionate self in favor of a “survival job.” And it is now with all of that experience that I see myself stepping out into this new life to get back in touch with my creative, present, enthusiastic self. Only this time my steps are much more timid.

See also: the challenge.

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