Hi.

My name is Alyonka Larionov. 

I am a Host, Producer, Speaker,

Writer, Podcaster + the Founder of

iN THE UNKNOWN.

I believe in Empowering Emotional Intelligence, emphasizing Curiosity of the Human Condition, and deepening personal growth in the Discomforts of The Unknown.

LIVE.IN.LOVE

On 9/11 | Live In Love

On 9/11 | Live In Love

I think we all remember where we were sixteen years ago today. I was sitting in my 8th grade homeroom classroom when I first heard, "a plane just hit one of the towers." Having never spent much time in New York, I didn't understand what that meant. My Mother picked me up from school and I remained glued to my tv screen watching in horror. How could this be happening? This can't be real. I was gutted for the city, for the country and for humanity as a whole.
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In 2003, my Father was traded to the New Jersey Devils. My sister and I spent many days + evenings in this beautiful city making music in a recording studio on Broadway + Fulton, two blocks away from Ground Zero. On our first evening there I walked to the hollow grounds, a thick cloud of grief, confusion, and bewilderment overcoming me. How could this happen? This can't be real. Why would someone do such a thing?
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In 2012 I moved to this city to work for the Brooklyn Nets + lived on Park Place blocks away from what would become the 9/11 Memorial we see today. On many occasions I'd spend early mornings or late evenings watching Life arise, taking shape + form in beautiful structures. I'd watch New Yorkers in hard hats walk to work smiling, entering into the construction zone with purpose.
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Every time I come back to this city I visit. Yesterday I stood here trying to capture the magnificence of the Freedom Tower, The Oculus and the Memorials' twin reflecting pools in the exact spot the Twin Towers stood. I couldn't quite capture it similarly to how I still can't quite comprehend how this could happen.
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What I know now as an adult is that it's real. I always think about this day and this city. I never forget. 
The way this city came together then and since, it reminds me of the POWER in humanity's ability to come together. To support. To Lift each other up. To Listen. To Care. Without judgement. Without prejudice. Without conditions. To exude compassion, kindness, and empathy towards another human, even a stranger.
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Today is a sobering reminder of that we all have the power to make a choice on whether we want to Live in Hate or to Live in Love. I choose Love. Go and Hug somebody today 🖤.


*this story was originally written on September 11, 2017

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