Today, however, I want to talk about the person that I used to be ten years ago.
Ten years ago, I woke up to a frantic phone call from a friend about the planes that crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. At that time I did not want to believe him - he was one of those people who, quite frankly, was easily scared - but I went into a state of shock as soon as I turned on the television.
Ten years ago, I was in a relationship that I should never have been in, with a guy I should never have entertained in the first place. I don't know how to tell this story without giving away the sordid details, but that was the day when we found ourselves bound together by fate. It took me two months before I found out that he lied when he said he loved me. I told him I never wanted to see him again.
Ten years ago, I was at the most vulnerable point in my life, and I blogged about it all - the hookups, the alienation, the need to process what was going on. I did not know what I wanted to believe, except for the notion that this was not God's way of punishing us for our sins. All I knew was that it was happening in New York but I was in Hawaii, and I could only stand, and watch, and pray.
A lot of things happened over those ten years. I shut down the old blog, stopped following the news, started going back to church. I got a job, quit the job, went to graduate school and took on even more jobs. I cut out a lot of dead ends from my life and made a lot of room for the new.
I lost a lot of hope, but gained it back tenfold.
And now, ten years later, I am still here: not because I wasn't in New York that day, but because I have faith in the beauty of virtuous acts committed by common people. Random acts of kindness, and senseless displays of beauty.
It sounds so selfish, to keep talking about me me me when I should be raging against the darkness, but I know I'm not the only one out there with a story. And the stories are what keeps our hopes alive.
(And if you think these stories of mine are silly, ask me about watching The King's Speech on the same day that the White House announced the death of Osama Bin Laden... followed by The Hurt Locker two weeks later. I'm still sorting out how I feel about all of that, trust me.)
If there are any traces of me that are left, even when this blog has come and gone, I hope that this story would be one of them. And I hope that this story - this smidge of my life, spread over the course of ten years - would be powerful enough to give people a fair measure of hope.
Aloha. Mabuhay sa inyong lahat.