Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's about that time... Time for a reflection post. So here goes. A year ago today... Wow, it seems like a lifetime ago. And really, it is a lifetime ago. My life was completely different then than it is now. Two years ago today? Shit... two completely different lives ago. I can't believe how different my life is. When I was younger I used to imagine what my life would be like when I got older. Usually it was only a year or two in advance, but once I graduated high school and started getting involved with independent drumlines, I always imagined a life filled with drumline and drum corps and nothing else. I imagined myself auditioning for somewhere great, making it, moving somewhere for that drumline and leaving all the bullshit of Arizona behind. I would always imagine the friends I would make, the relationships I would have, the person I would be. And then I would get up, go to rehearsal of the drumline I was actually in, see all the people I hated, and think I would never be able to make my dreams a reality. But somehow... I did. This past year has been a dream. From the Pulse audition, to the rehearsals every sunday that I had to drive out to California every weekend for. Moving to California and living with grandparents to be closer to group. Making friends that I always wished I had in my life. Trying new things that I never would have felt comfortable doing anywhere else or with anyone else. Everything... was just how I imagined it to be, if not better. Sure, there were some downer moments throughout the season. Or for me I guess it was all after the season ended... But I made it through. The thing that saved me? Drum corps. I never really knew a lot about drum corps. I dreamt about maybe someday marching, but had no idea where to go and how to go about doing it. I let my cymbal tech talk me into marching with the Sacramento Mandarins. This... was the hardest experience of my life. Both physically and emotionally draining, I've never felt so tired in my life. I had a ton of fun and tried to keep a positive attitude for most of the season, but I'll admit, there were a lot of days where all I wanted to do was go home. There were days where I let it get to me, where I thought too much about my family and let myself get bored with the show. But I pushed through, rubbed some dirt on it, and kept going, all the way to the very end. I won't lie, when I got home it wasn't as emotional as when I got home from Dayton. I think mostly because I know I'm going to see most of the drumline at Pulse auditions. But I didn't have as strong of a connection with Mandarins as a corps like I did with Pulse as a drumline. There was a lot that bothered me throughout the season. Even at my lowest points throughout the season when I was dirt tired and my body was sore from head to toe and I really just wanted to go home, I still maxed everything out to the best of my ability. Even when I was complaining that my arms hurt or that I missed my mom, I still tried my hardest. I guess that's something I got used to at Pulse... Everyone trying all the time, never taking a rep off. But at Mandarins... It's just not the same. Not everyone has the same mentality, and that makes it really hard to miss being there once I was gone. At the end of the day though, I can say that I survived my first summer of drum corps. I did learn a lot from the season. Mostly about how to push myself. I learned a lot about sound quality and marching technique. I feel like a better cymbal player after this season and I'm really glad I did it. I got an award from Dave this season. And it came at a time where I actually felt like I wasn't really getting better as a cymbal player. I feel bad because as he was announcing the award to us we were restrapping our new cymbals and I really wasn't paying that much attention to him. I really figured that he wouldn't give it to me... I had been noticing how much he called me out on things and how little he told me I was doing well. He would tell me after shows in the lot when we were by ourselves that I was doing well, but I rarely ever heard it during rehearsal. So for some reason, I just really thought he was going to give it to someone else. I remember him saying that the person who got the award can't be bullshit and something about the future... About how this was just the beginning or something... I can't really remember. But then he said my name, and everything I'd been through just seemed worth it. Not just that summer, but my entire cymbal playing career. I sat there and thought about all of the people who told me I couldn't do this. Who ever said I wasn't a good cymbal player. Who ever told me or even thought to themselves that I wouldn't make it anywhere. I wish I could say that I thought nice things about these people... But I didn't. I mostly thought, "Fuck you, I did it." The last person I said bye to at the airport was Vyvian. She was probably my most favorite person to be around this summer. I miss her like crazy and I'm sad that I don't get to see her everyday anymore. Saying bye to her made the end of the season feel more real. She's said that after this season she doesn't want to march drum corps anymore and she doesn't want to play cymbals again... But I really hope to be marching somewhere with her next summer, even if she doesn't play cymbals. Now that I'm home it feels like none of this happened. Except it had to have happened. I'm here in a room with all of my old things, things that used to mean the world to me, but now have little to no meaning at all. Things I used to look at and feel something... And now they're just things. Things that I'm not sure if I'd be sad about not having. Everything that has meaning to me is sitting in my car at my grandparents house, waiting for me to come get it. My body is completely different. I was reminded of the beginning of my journey when I went for a run on my old path... A year ago today I was running for a minute or two at a time, trying so hard to work my way up to 20 minutes of running at a time. I didn't know it then, but that might have been what saved me. If I hadn't had started running, who knows where i would be right now. I used to hate running... but now I can say that it's a regular part of my life. I don't fear it like I used to. I embrace it. I made it a goal to run at least once I week for the entire time I was 20. To be honest, I didn't succeed. There were some weeks I did not run. But that's not the point... I kept running in my life for the entire year. I changed my lifestyle to a healthier one. And I've never felt better about myself. Now my goals aren't to be able to run for 20 minutes, my goals are to have abs that everyone can see. Have toned muscles, be able to do 100 pushups. Because in reality, it's not that far away anymore :) I have about a month and a week left before Pulse auditions. I can't wait to be back. I can't wait for the season. I've heard of a few really good people wanting to audition for Pulse's cymbal line. It should be interesting to see how it plays out :) One thing I've learned this year... is why they call Dave, "Crazy" Asian Dave. But I can't wait to see what he has in store for Pulse 2013.

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