Why that date, and approximate time? On that day, I was 11 at the time (stop doing the math...), and stayed home from school because I was sick. I was on the couch with my dad and we were watching the World Series, baseball was (and still is!) my favourite sport and we were watching the Oakland Athletics play San Francisco Giants.
At 5.04pm PST, the Loma Prieta earthquake happened.
I remember the monitors bouncing during the call of the game, and before the screen went to the pixelated snowy format we all knew and loved from the 80's, I heard one of the broadcasters scream "OH MY GOD! It's an earthquake!".
What felt like an eternity, but was actually approximately 10 minutes, the newscasts resumed, showing strangers on the field with players, police trying to help the injured, and later on, the devastation from the Golden Gate bridge, people covered in debris, and memorials set up on the street.
It was that moment when the coverage resumed that I knew what I needed to do and wanted to do for the rest of my life. To help calm people down after devastations, to help others through trauma, and to be that person who runs towards danger instead of the flocks of people running away.
There are, unfortunately, tons of events which kept reinforcing these feelings of purpose within me:
- The 1999 Columbine Massacre where 13 high school students were slaughtered in a place where they should have felt most safe
- The 2001 Twin Towers terrorist attack, and the outpouring of Canadian support for our American neighbours
- The 2010 Copiapo mining disaster where 33 miners were raised to the surface after a record 69 days underground in a capsule no one knew would work or not
- The 2014 Malaysian Airlines 370 flight where a plane with over 200 seemingly disappears and has not been recovered or discovered to this day
I, cannot, and will not, stand idly by.
I want to help.
I am here.
My main purpose, and my defining purpose is to help you cope, heal, and grow from whatever trauma you are dealing with. From the suffering of your anxiety/depression, from the loss of your job, to the loss of your identity--I am here to help you.