It was so cool when the show first came out. The place where I lived was on TV. I got to watch as they went on all the rides my friends and I would go on when we were younger. I got to watch as they sat on the beaches where I would spend most of my summer days. I got to watch as they played the games that I grew up playing. The show I am talking about, of course is “The Jersey Shore.” As a local of the shore it was your duty to hate the show just for the sake of hating it. However, every Thursday we would stay up to watch it because we really loved it. Maybe we didn’t love it for its cast or story line but for its scenery. The scenery of the show was our back yard. There was something about seeing the places where we went all the time that fascinated us. I guess it was the familiarity of it all. After a couple of seasons of the show and once all the hype was gone, the fascination disappeared too.
Recently though, this feeling came back. This time it was not a pleasant feeling of fascination, but an overwhelming feeling of devastation. After Hurricane Sandy ripped through the North East, the Jersey Shore was on TV again. This time however, there was no familiarity to be found. The images on TV and all over Facebook were of nothing I had seen before. Everything I knew about where I grew up was nearly destroyed. This had a profound effect on be as I am sure it had on many other.
What really sunk in with me were people’s reactions. Most of my friends from home were just as taken back as I was after seeing the pictures. The funny thing is, most of us talked about how much the boardwalk sucked and how we wish we had more to do. No that the boardwalk is gone; I think we have all gained a new perspective. We all realized just how much memories those boards held for us and just how quickly life can change. I guess the old cliché is true: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Even though the boardwalk is gone, our memories are not. They did not get washed from our brains like the boards got washed from the shore. They are still with us, just are alive as we are. And even though the boardwalk is gone now, it is not permanent. It will be rebuilt, new memories will be made, and fun times will continue to be hard. With every disaster comes opportunity. This disaster gives us the opportunity to revisit old memories, come together as a community, and gain a new perspective on life.
It is sad to think that a lot of times it takes such a drastic event for people to really appreciate what they have in their lives. This is why we need to take this opportunity and let it not go to waste. Once the storm passes and the dust settles, we can’t go back to living like we use too. We have to hold on to this new-found appreciation and never let it go. Sandy took so much from a lot of people but I believe she given us just as much. My heart goes out to all that were affected by the storm and I can only hope to go home soon to help with the recovery efforts. Restore the Shore!