Given the Opportunity…

Looking down on NYC from the World Trade Center © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

In a week’s time, it will mark the ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Many networks will commemorate the event by airing special programs. I’ve attached a link to what American networks are doing near the bottom of this blog.

Early morning on that Tuesday, I narrowly escape a traffic accident. The light is about to turn red and the car in front of me needs to make a left turn. I would need to follow to clear the intersection. Seconds later a driver who is not paying attention cuts through and hits the car in front me. It’s a busy intersection. I contemplate staying but there’s no safe place to park to wait for the police. I head to work. My co-workers and I are all getting settled into the daily grind. The courier guy walks in with some packages and tells us of what he hears on the news. We’re all in shock. We can’t fathom what it would be like to see a plane hit a building or even why. An hour later, the courier returns with more packages and mentions that the second building had been hit and it now looks like an act of terrorism. During break time, a few of my co-workers and I discuss this shocking news and decide on eating out for lunch at the local bar where there would be televisions available. We’re in shock again.

This picture I have of NYC is taken from the observation deck of the World Trade Center just a year earlier. I don’t remember the exact date. It’s a last minute decision to join my friends on a guided tour. I just returned from a trip to Atlantic City and Newark, NJ with my family less than two weeks earlier – also a last minute decision. It’s not busy at work during the summer and I argue this point with my manager. He lets me go but he isn’t pleased. I later reflect that I’m happy to have gone.

Before this tragic event, I tell my mom she should celebrate her birthday by going on a guided trip to NYC. Her birthday, Sept. 1, happens to be on a Saturday and it would be perfect timing. She could book herself and my dad on a guided tour and not worry about driving around. She’ll get to see the Statue of Liberty and other tourist spots. I’m sure the tour would also take them to the World Trade Center. When news broke of the towers being hit and collapsing, I tell my mom that she should have gone and it’s something she could never do now. She says she hoped I would be the one to do the booking and come along for the trip.

Years later, as I tell this story to my photography teacher at Ryerson, he says he had hoped to take a picture of the Berlin Wall. Unfortunately, it had been taken down before he could visit Germany.

This leads me to think, if given the opportunity to do something you want to do, would you take it? I, like many, struggle with responsibility and work and being able to do whatever I want.

After being laid off at work, I thought, “Now what?” I didn’t have immediate plans except to want to jump back into work just so I can hold on to my house. It’s been a few years now and it’s starting to sink in that I don’t have to go back into the same industry that I was laid off from. I have the opportunity to make changes. I am making decisions that are not popular with my family and I quite often find myself struggling to prove to them I can do it and still make a decent living. For me, I have chosen to do photography, hence all the photographs I keep posting. I have also chosen to find another job or do aesthetics so I will have a regular income to support myself. I’ve always wanted to do photography and finally have time for it. I regret having to sell my house but I don’t have the stress attached to it anymore.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Live it. Love it. Capture it. What does it mean? It is something I came up when thinking of photography. Being able to live life, loving life and then capturing life through photography is better than not trying anything at all. I may not be able to get to do everything I want in life, but certainly it’s worth a try. Whenever I hear people say, “life is too short” after someone passes away, I think it’s true. Why live a boring, redundant life? You don’t have to quit your job during this recession. Just add to it whatever you can afford.

Please take the time to pause and remember what happened. Also pray and hope for a better world. CLICK HERE to link to what TV networks are doing to commemorate 9/11.

A newspaper clipping from the Toronto Star in 2001.

Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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