It’s no secret that I’ve been relatively quiet over here on my corner of the internet. Even the last piece I wrote really at all was pretty short — kind of a surprise to me, too. Especially because it was about my first marathon, which I could talk about endlessly. And after the fact, I wanted to write something commemorating how I felt…but I couldn’t do it. I’d open the word document, write a few sentences, and very quickly lose interest, or find that I simply couldn’t go on anymore. When it came to writing, I had nothing left to say. It persisted through almost every aspect of my life, it seemed. I couldn’t write about music, I couldn’t get things done, and it felt like I was just stuck in a constant rotation of a little bit of school, a lot of work (which was also starting to feel too monotonous and exhausting), running when I could, and cleaning my impossibly messy room all of the time.
After aging out, I think that the events from last spring finally caught up to me. I had gone so long without thinking about the loss my family had endured, because I had so many things I knew I had to finish out strong. Graduating from Columbia, and the entire summer with Spirit; all truly wonderful, amazing capstones to the last four or five years of my life. But then it came time to start something new.
“Marathon” is a word that’s been bouncing around in my head for a few years now. I wanted to run my first marathon in 2015, but my parents urged me to wait until I aged out from drum corps and finish college before I did my first full. I filled the void with half-marathons as best I could, but since coming off tour in 2016 (yes, over a year ago), my sights have been set on finishing 26.2. I started working at Fleet Feet, found myself surrounded by distance runners and constantly helping people who were pushing themselves to complete their goals, and kept chugging on my own path.
I’ve been procrastinating returning to writing pretty hardcore since I got home. I also knew that I would need to ease myself back in, and I didn’t think that getting to work on this entry would be the way to do that. Instead, I wrote about four different cover letters and, well, now here we are. It’s time to dive into the blog post I’ve been dreading to write for the last five years. The post that’s supposed to put what drum corps has meant to me into roughly 1,000 words. I doubt we’re going to make it…but if there’s anything that drum corps has taught me, it’s that I’ll do my best. And most of the time, that’s enough.
I’m not going to lie and say that I had no idea what to expect when I moved in to the University Center for my Freshman year at Columbia. I had expectations — I had huge expectations. I knew I was paying a huge amount of money to go to this school, and I expected them to deliver on every one of those expectations. That was my first lesson: don’t have too many expectations for the big things. Because it’ll probably turn out not how you were expecting at all, and be entirely different…but maybe, that’s what you need.
I wanted to write a big long mushy post highlighting some of the best parts of my college career, but in typical fashion with the rest of my life right now, I totally ran out of time. Plus, I have quite a few pages highlighting each semester already, so why should I make the final one be any different? Plus, the last five months have been so jam-packed with things (both really difficult and really wonderful), so I can’t short-change my last semester.
[Originally written and read this for Mel Kooda’s funeral held in McGregor, Minnesota on April 22nd, 2017.]
What I turn to in times of what I’ll call “writer’s block,” is list-making. I guess I had a little bit of an issue kicking this one off, and I think it’s because I knew once I started writing this piece, that at some point… it would be done. And then that’s it. The reality of both of my grandparents no longer being just a phone call away has sunk in a little bit more.
So what I’ve got for you today is a list of things (in no particular order), that I learned from my Grandpa, with the help of my sister, Kenzie.
Here’s what you haven’t read about my trip to Austin, TX for SXSW so far…
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending seven days in Austin, Texas. Not only was it great being in Austin, but it was also a pretty popular time to be there. South by Southwest (or SXSW) is the interactive, film, music, and comedy festival that completely takes over the city for almost two full weeks. As part of the completion of my interdisciplinary degree at Columbia College, I was able to attend the festival as part of the AEMMP Digital Distribution & Promotions Practicum course. For my project in class, I was able to incorporate something I was planning on doing down there, anyway. I got to write about all of the bands (good and bad) that I was able to catch, and it was published over on Atwood Magazine. If you’re interested in the music portion of my experience, click on the day-header for those ramblings. This post will serve more in the nitty-gritty of the trip, and what you won’t find on a publication. Thus, “What You Didn’t Read about SXSW Already”