Unexpected Emotions!

Monday, April 21, 2014

I was recently invited by an editor at People's Style Watch magazine to attend a photo shoot for Mary Kay's Fall Campaign that will be featured in the magazine.  They wanted to add a 'behind the scenes' element to the photo shoot and i was the lucky one to document it.  While i can't wait to tell you all about this dream come true event, i must first get something off of my chest!  This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions.  When i initially received the email, i could hardly contain my excitement!  I mean, could you imagine???  Being asked to be a part of a real NYC fashion/beauty photo shoot?!!!  I could just die.... but not before this event of course! Then... i got the email detailing the time and place of the photo shoot and that's when my heart suddenly sank. Perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic, but when i realized this photo shoot was down town, i knew that the day had finally arrived... the day I'd dreaded since September 11, 2001.  I needed to take the World Trade Center Path to get me to this destination!  Did i have other options?  Sure, i could have driven in through the Holland Tunnel except that the Pulaski skyway was closed for renovations and i worried about massive traffic issues.  I could have driven into the city via the Lincoln tunnel, which i seriously considered, and then taken the subway to my final destination. But really, the way that made the most sense was taking the path to the WTC station and then a quick subway ride.  The only problem was, i had not taken the path since before 9/11.

Let me back track.  I worked in NYC in the fashion industry many years ago.  On that dreaded day, i remember riding the bus into work and admiring (as i always did) the incredibly gorgeous NY skyline.  That day in particular was just perfection... it had never looked better nestled beneath the bluest of skies!  Little did i know... that was the last time I'd ever see that beautiful skyline exactly the way that it looked that very morning.  That day was quite traumatic for many... while i was one of the lucky ones to arrive home safely, many weren't so fortunate.  I'm still very scarred by all that i saw and endured on that day.  Getting home at one point seemed almost impossible. OK, what does this have to do with with the photo shoot?  Well, first... i haven't been able to go to Ground Zero since this all went down.  I knew eventually i would but eventually just seemed so far away!  Second,  i remember the WTC station exactly as it was before 9/11 and i wanted it to stay that way in my memory forever.  I remember back when... going up the massive escalators and seeing one of my favorite stores at the very top... J. Crew!  I knew that this time, this store... and all the others would no longer be there.  I dreaded going up those escalators... DREADED!  But... it had to be done!

So finally, the moment arrived... and while i wanted so badly to feel the excitement of the much anticipated photo shoot, all i could think about was the dreaded escalator ride.  Once the train arrived at WTC, i began to feel major anxiety.  I knew the time had come and i had to put on my brave face and just GO!  I took a deep breath and stepped on the escalator.  I began to feel shortness of breath and my body began to feel very heavy.  I seriously thought for a moment that i might pass out.  I looked up in anticipation... who knows, maybe J. Crew would still be there?  As i got closer to the top, it all started to sink in.  It was gone... all of it!  There was nothing left.... at the top of that long dreaded escalator was just a few news stands and a wall... not a permanent wall, just some temporary coverings masking the sadness and devastation left behind.  I wanted to cry... sob really!  I knew that i had to compose myself but all i could do is walk.... run!  I ran.... i ran and ran!  I saw a church... a church i remember so well from before... it was all pretty much in tact still and just as I'd remembered it.  But every time i looked at the emptiness of those two holes on the ground i felt defeated!  So all i could do was run.... until i found a subway station to bring me to my final destination.

These emotions truly creeped up on me so unexpectedly!  How could something so exciting bring me to such a dark place?  But it did... I'm glad really.  I'm glad that i finally got a chance to confront a major fear of mine.  As difficult as it was, I'm glad that this moment is finally done and over with... and now, i could finally enjoy this major occasion... the photo shoot!

To be continued...

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