Reaching Back to 9/11 to Handle a Pandemic

Nancy Colasurdo
3 min readSep 11, 2021

For about 20 years I’ve been an independent contractor. Because of the tragedy of 9/11 and its ripple effects, I came to know the term “income streams.”

And, my word, does it make me happy.

As we approach the 20-year mark for the despicable terrorist attacks that day, I have been reflecting a lot on how they changed my life and how important it is that I apply what I learned then to our current global health crisis, the pandemic.

Both are shattering events that call for emotional strength and soul searching. They beg us to reflect on our current lives, appreciate what we have, not take things for granted, but also make us more directed in our future endeavors.

On September 11, 2001, I was a New Jersey resident working as a television producer at Oxygen Media in New York City. Six months later I joined more than 20 colleagues in a mass layoff. Not only did I lose my job, but the Catholic Church was reeling because the Boston Globe had just exposed massive coverups of pedophilia among clergy, so I was church “shopping” as well.

After the initial shock of what felt like a crumbling world, some things started to sink in. It was the first time I had an opportunity to really connect with my community. It was a fresh start, a chance for renewal. I had spent most of the 1990s working as a sports writer/columnist for The Times of Trenton and had made the jump to the New York market and web journalism a few years earlier. All fine, but I was in a loop of nose-to-grindstone with little thought given to fulfillment outside of work, my own life’s purpose, or being in service to others.

I wondered, what now?

Motivated to do something that would help people, I trained as a life coach and earned my certification. I began taking editing and freelance writing jobs. I created a web presence, learned to network, built a clientele, sought volunteer opportunities. Sometimes my financial life got messy, but I took “money” jobs that would allow me to keep on being creative in my off hours.

A few years into this, I read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf and became obsessed with the story she tells of living on a modest inheritance from her aunt and how it liberated her. I came across this…



Nancy Colasurdo

Activist Journalist, Opinion Writer, Author, Life Coach in Greater NYC area. Occasional guest columnist at Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge.