And I'm not even talking about TEDxNY yet. Don't worry, that post is coming. There's something else I need to talk about first.
I was terrified to go to New York City by myself, so much so that even with all the money for the tickets and reservations I almost didn't go. But I knew I would kick myself if I didn't so I put on my big girl panties, hopped on the train, and headed towards the big city. Thanks to my dear friend's sister I had a hotel that was extremely close to the conference site so once I got to my hotel Friday night I knew I would be okay. After a slightly nerve-wracking subway excursion, I climbed the steps right in front of my hotel and the World Trade Center memorial site.
Even though I had read the information about the hotel, the magnitude of where I was didn't really become meaningful until this morning. I got up, opened the curtains and looked out over the construction site where the Twin Towers used to stand. And that's when it hit me. There used to be two towers right here that were over 100 stories high. One day in the not so distant past somebody had stayed in this hotel, and as they were getting ready for that morning (just like I was today) a plane had hit the building right across the street. Thousands of people had lost their lives. The enormity of these thoughts took my breath away.
Several people commented to me that it was a shame that I wasn't staying long enough to do any sight-seeing, see a show or eat at any of the fancy restaurants in the city. What I gained this morning was so much more meaningful than any of that. While I can't accurately express what I thought and felt as I looked out over the memorial site and reflected upon the events of September 11, I do know that I am very lucky to have had the chance to, in my own little way, pay respect to those who lost their lives that day.
The fact that I also got to attend a pretty incredible conference is just the icing on the cake.