A Destiny Lost. A Destiny That Must Be Fulfilled.

Photo courtesy of Reuters.

There are significant moments in our lives. Historians call them watershed moments.

My watershed moment happened 10 years ago today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was a day of irony in New York City. It was a bright, beautiful day filled with horror and ugliness. The sights, sounds, and smells are seared into my conscious forever to be recalled.

I remember running down the street as the South Tower collapsed in my direction. My life truly flashed before my eyes. On that morning, I believed down to my very core that I was going to die on a street in New York City—a city I had always dreamed of living in; a city I had been living in for less than two months.

But I did not die—I survived. And that forces me to ask myself the same question every day: Why?

That simple question is usually followed by more questions: Why me? Why them? Why did I have to get sick? What awaits me as so many who suffer from the same respiratory disease as me are beginning to die?

I realize now that I had to be one of the victims that day—that it was God’s plan. Despite the memories, the emotional and mental anguish, the respiratory disease, and the feeling of a destiny unfulfilled, I had to experience this tragedy.

And I feel it made me a better person. I am kinder. I am more understanding. I listen better. I see all angles rather than just one. I am more thoughtful and pragmatic. I am less quick to anger and am quicker to let go. I am more secure in my faith and relationship with God.

Although I am and always will be far from perfect, I am indeed a better human being. I hope that those who have known me before and since have noticed this change. I hope those who knew me before—those who knew the old me—can appreciate this change; this metamorphosis. For those who have met me after September 11, 2001, I am so glad you know the better Debbie Bonaminio.

I have always felt that I was put on this earth for greatness—not out of arrogance, but through a burning desire not to settle for mediocrity or the pedantic, predictable life that so many settle for. After September 11, 2001, I let that ember almost die out. I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity and suffer from motivational paralysis.

That ends today.

The time has come for me to let go of all that is holding me back; to let go of feelings that have kept me standing still rather than allowing me to charge forward to fulfill the destiny that I felt I lost 10 years ago today.

God willing, I shall be where I truly am meant to be someday performing the work I was placed on this earth to do—fulfilling my true destiny.

Debbie Bonaminio is a September 11 survivor and a special guest contributor to Rethinking Complexity.

Read other posts by our guest contributors

Keep up with our community: Facebook | Twitter | Saybrook’s Organizational Systems Program