Ten years ago, I was living in Dallas. I'd graduated from high school about three months prior and I was attending a community college with no real outlook on what I wanted out of life.
I walked into my Psychology class, the professor turned on the TV and the world was different.
Four years later, I visited New York for the first time and spent the summer falling in love with the city. I realized then that I'd end up there.
It would be another five years before I'd move to New York.
It's been ten years now since the world changed. All over the internet and TV, there are stories about the anniversary and how the world is a different place, so there's not a need to expound on all that. What I can write about is how different I am.
There's an episode of 30 Rock where Jack tells Kenneth how great it is that he still has his sense of wonder and finds joy in the simple things. I think, more than anything that's changed about me, I think that's it. I've learned to find sheer, undefinable and unmitigated joy in the simple things in life and I'm not afraid to say that as I've gotten older, my sense of wonder has heightened. It's amazing actually, the concept of not allowing yourself to become jaded. Life is full of teachable moments and while we have to learn from them, we don't have to allow ourselves to become jaded by them. Life is too special, too important and too wonderful to live a life of jaded and boxed-up individual.
So today, as our country reflects and remembers, I do the same. I love New York and the longer I'm here, the more perspective I get on that day. I find that I learn more each day I'm here. I fell in love with a post-9/11 New York City and I celebrate the freedom that we Americans have on a daily basis. We live in a country where anyone has the opportunity to make their dreams come true and that's why I'm proud to be an American.