Problem Solvin’

Joey - Chesterfeild, Missouri
Entered on February 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

New house, new school, new world. Nothing’s the same when you move so far away from your previous life.

Somewhere on the east coast (9/10/01)

Before I moved, I lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a city near D.C. There, I was born. There, I grew up. But, I wasn’t meant to stay there forever. because during the end of my time there my dad worked for a company known as Mobilocity. As a lot of companies are, they were based in New York, New York. But, my dad’s apartment building was located pretty close to the twin towers. (look at what I just said and the date at the top of the paragraph and the beginning of the next and say “uh-oh!”). But my dad working in NYC caused him to be gone for five days out of the week to come home only on weekends. But it wasn’t all bad. I got to go on a few great trips to NYC with a free place to stay.

New York City (9/11/01)

We all know what happened on 9/11, but some of us were unlucky enough to know someone who was in NYC when it happened, or even in the buildings during this horrible event. My dad was evacuated from his building and watched as it happened.

Everyone knows the New York part, but what doesn’t always come to mind is that the same thing happened to the Pentagon. Being so close to D.C., my school was sent home, early dismissal. I’m not really sure why (we weren’t that close) but I’m guessing it was so we could be with our families.

When I got off the bus my mom walked me home (as she did in first grade). As we got home my mom went straight to the family room and pressed play on the TiVo. I thought she rushed home to continue a movie she was watching, but when I looked at the TV I saw the news. “What’s going on?” I asked, even as a 7-year-old I could still put two and two together.

“A plane crashed into a building,” she said it solemnly while at the same time sounding like she was dumbing it down for the little one. I could also tell she was worried for some reason.

I watched the TV for a little bit, seeing the same clip over and over again of a building collapsing in onto itself. Eventually I got bored and went to go play with my toys.

That was all I remember of that day

After the catastrophe Mobilocity broke down, causing my dad to get laid off. He needed a new job and as fast as possible. But this time He was a little picky. He looked for a job with less travel that was in town (or at least close enough for a daily commute). He found none. Next came the idea of moving somewhere someone we knew lived. We had family in a few places, but the one that seemed the best was St. Louis.

Seven years later, my dad is a much bigger part of my life than he would have been if he had been gone for five days a week.

Only years later did I realize what my dad had to go through to be more present in his children’s lives. We could’ve stayed in Gaithersburg and my dad could have gone out every week to somewhere or to multiple places. I’ve learned that to get what you want in life you got to think outside the box, make all possibilities open. Another thing I believe is that you have to take risks to get where you want. ‘Playing it safe’ does you no good because if you can’t fail, you can’t possibly succeed. The last thing I learned from 9/11 alone is that nothing possible is ever completely ruled out from happening. Only expecting the expected will have expected results.

After seven years my dad is now the VP of consumerology (whatever that is).