The Impact of 2015

In less than a week there have been two mass shootings which touched either my former life or my current one. I was an undergrad at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and I currently live in Northern California and serve as an Emergency Manager for the City of San Francisco.

 

It's hard to bear. I find myself pushing the feelings down so I can concentrate on the job at hand - preparing a community to host a major US sporting event. But in between the pushing things down and the planning, I slow just enough to remember that those two mass shootings define me. They define my work and my life in ways I cannot even begin to imagine. And thus they define me.

 

How I observe my surroundings, the work pages I pay attention to (because the horses are beginning to sound more and more like zebras), the moments my photographer's eye notices and the sirens that howl outside 3rd story office window... they have all changed. Adapted to the newly changed world around me. How it happened, why it happened, that the shooters left children or associated with unsavory types, they fail to matter to me in this very moment. But the impact, the change that my own habits have seen, does matter. Deeply.

 

I drive home at night, just a bit more aware of the depth of the life I have the privilege to lead. I am far more grateful for those I am able to share it with. And I am called, once again, to rise up. To protect my community and share my observations with new clarity and ease.