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.
The fact still seems near-impossible to believe that it’s already been a week. A week since we ran chunks of any kind of the show; a week since our last set of 1&1 as a color guard; a week since we were dismissed from a rehearsal; a week since we sang Salvation for the last time in uniform. So many of the things we took for granted all summer — gone in the blink of an eye. I’m nowhere near new to the feeling of post-tour depression and readjusting to the “real world,” but there’s so many things that were different this year, it almost feels like a different kind of PTD.
A concept that I’ve found myself thinking a lot about as I’m undergoing the final weeks in my Junior Year at Columbia are what’s shaped me as a person up to this point. How have these things affected my values? My goals? How much have I really changed since starting high school? How about college? In the past year? How about this semester? Am I progressing towards my personal and career goals? What am I doing to make myself a better person than the day before?
It’s a lot to grapple with — and those are questions I need to answer within the next five days, since that’s when our Leadership Profiles are due for the semester. One aspect of this assignment is a project we had to do earlier in the semester; and that’s a Journey Map. I had a love/hate relationship with this project, because although I’ve done a handful of different things that has shaped who I am today, it was hard to decide the few things that have had the biggest impact. (But honestly, probably my favorite part of this assignment has been hearing my classmate’s journeys. Man, I go to school with some awesome people).
Well, I narrowed it down to 12 things. Not too bad, considering I filled up a page originally. So in order to fill my blog with more content, and to prove that I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of writing this semester and I’m not just neglecting y’all, I figured I’d double-dip.
Another trip to Atlanta is in the books — this time around, for the final audition camp of the 40th Anniversary Season for Spirit of Atlanta. I’m incredibly excited to say I’ve solidified my contract and I’m so humbled to be included in this casting under our fantastic new staff. But that’s not all — this means that the next time I’m boarding a plane will be to Charlotte, South Carolina, to spend quality time with one of my best friends before we move in for the summer with the corps.
I hate being in one place for an extended period of time. That’s one of the reasons I love drum corps so much: we’re constantly on the move and seeing different sights. That’s also the reason why I jump whenever I get the chance to go somewhere new. Although it’s comforting to be settled in a place for a bit; to have my running route and go-to places for food and other essentials, I can get a little stir-crazy.
So it probably won’t surprise those of you who have been around with us that after I found some mega-cheap round-trip flights from Chicago to Atlanta for the weekend of the February camp for Spirit of Atlanta, I made sure I could volunteer, and booked the flights immediately. (It came out of my budget plan for Europe, so I was good for the funding).
Not only did I get to escape Illinois, after being grounded for just under a month (I was recently in Europe?? Catch up on those adventures here), but it was a chance to see some of the people who mean the most to me, and an opportunity to start the biggest project I’ve ever embarked on: an audio documentary… or something along those lines.
Some realizations and learning outcomes of the Covering Europe experience: J-Term 2016 with Columbia College Chicago
I spend a lot of time on my own. I’m not saying that to get pity, or as a statement of “I don’t have friends,” because I do. I sure do. I have some of the best friends in the world. The only thing is, they’re scattered around the United States, or in even worse cases, across the globe. When I registered for this trip, the last thought on my mind was how close I’d get with this group of strangers; but at the same time, I didn’t think about how valuable I’d find walking around in a foreign country by myself. I’ve always treasured the times I’m around people I love — that’s why I make a point to go to Georgia every year for New Years. I never realized how much I treasure some of the times where I’m alone, too.
Maybe this is crazy, but we live in a world where romance is overly-romanticized. There’s an entire film franchise for it, there’s a holiday for it, and one of the online communities I frequent (Tumblr), has an entire section of blogs dedicated to wishful quotes and pictures of couples doing random things together. If you’re not careful, it’s pretty easy to slip into a mindset that the only thing that matters is companionship. Likes on your Instagram pictures; followers on Twitter; photos of you and your life companion splashed across Facebook.
January 6th. Even though I’m about a week late to have a “new year new me” post, I finally thought of a few resolutions that are better than “sit up straight” and “don’t suck.” After talking to some friends about their hopes for the year and how they want to make themselves better, I finally started to think about what I want to do to make my “Year in Review 2016” post the best one yet. Anyway, here’s the goals for this year: