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.
In the last few days of break before my final semester at Columbia College Chicago begins, I’m being as lazy as I can. I’m still working, still running, and getting some last-minute chores done (ordering textbooks, cleaning out folders from last semester, writing a little bit, etc. etc.), but I’m also thinking about what the last three and a half years have held. If you’ve been following us for a little bit, you know that I’m big on reflection. So, in these last few days before the true beginning of the end, I can’t help but think back at all that Columbia has given me — besides the fact that I’ve created my own major, took both accounting and finance, and learned that there’s more out there that I can do well/enjoy outside of radio.
I broke down the year overall already – now let’s dig into the tunes behind it
According to my Spotify Year in Review, I listened to well over 130,000 minutes of music. That doesn’t include the hours I spent listening to records, or the radio, or podcasts. I take in a lot of media, but I didn’t think it was nearly that much. I figured since I clocked in so many hours of streaming, I should probably put my two cents out there in what the year looked like musically. I shared with Atwood what I thought the album of the year was — but you’ll have to check that out to see what I thought. I’ll link it here when that gets published. Here, though, we’ll break it down by month, and what struck me as big for that period of time.
Hamilton — Original Cast Recording
The past few years over the few days it takes to ring in the New Year, I spend the time with one of my closest and oldest drum corps friends, Kayla. The last two years, she’s introduced me to new musicals I end up being obsessed with for the year. Last year, it was In The Heights. This year, it was the musical that’s taken the world by storm, Hamilton. This bad boy has been on repeat periodically throughout the year, but mostly during January. Easily.
Galway Girl — Steve Earle Since I spent most of the month traveling, and much of that in Ireland, this was a song that we’d listen to as we got ready for the day or a night out and want to channel our inner “Irish bar music.” “Galway Girl” will forever remind me of the craziness that happened over those two weeks abroad this year.
Wow, what a freakin year. As I went through pictures this time around, I found an astonishing amount of goofy selfies and embarrassing snapchat screenshots of my friends, so the fact that I was able to pull as many “normal” pictures as I’ve got in here is nothing short of a miracle. As I was writing this blog post last year, I knew there’d be a lot to talk about… but I never imagined to have the year shake out like it did. Anyway, here’s 2016 in somewhere around 6,000 words. Stay with us.