A Place for Us

It’s strange to think that, after everything,
it’s time to say goodbye.
I can’t very well imagine a world
without a flag in my hands
or a show in my mind, but
I suppose I’ll have to try.
Four years of my life, gone in a flash.
It’s impossible to grasp that
my time has come.
I’m moving on
to bigger and better things,
and though I’m nervous,
I’m ready.
I know whatever happens,
whatever trials I face,
I will overcome.
This Guard has shown me
the strength that I have
when I fight.
The lessons I have learned
through long days under a blazing sun,
through endless hours in a too-bright gym,
through scrapes and bruises and pain,
have helped me grow into
someone better.
I no longer fear
the glare of a spotlight.
I no longer believe
in limitations.
In the midst of exhaustion, I’ll remember
Perseverance
and I’ll push myself just a little further.
I’ll never give up
because a true Guard Girl
is stronger than that.
And no matter where I go,
no matter what I face,
I’ll never forget that nervous excitement
as I step onto the floor with my girls,
as I face the crowd in Dayton arena,
as I set my equipment and take deep breaths,
as I find my place for the beginning of the show,
as I hear the words, “Is the Guard ready?”,
as I feel it all leave me in one final breath.
And I’ll remember that feeling
when the show music starts
and all that’s left is
Guard.


*(Note: It took me a long time to manage to write this. This is basically my farewell to Guard. I’ve finished off my last season, and now that whole piece of my life is over. It’s been hard to comprehend, but I’m coping alright. The title of the poem was the show title for this past season.)

Picture source: *I’m looking for the perfect picture. I’ll get one up soon, pinkie promise!*

My poetry belongs to me. All poems under the category “Poetry by Me” are mine. Use of my poetry without my permission is prohibited. If you wish to use any my poetry for any reason, ask me for permission first.

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Today’s Holiday: National Students Athlete Day

April 6, 2016.

I’m glad this is today’s holiday, because I have a very good way to celebrate it!

It’s called WGI Finals week(end)!!!

imageWGI, or Winter Guard International, is the organization in charge of the indoor movement musical group competitions that occur in the winter. This includes Color Guard and Percussion Ensemble, and possibly Winds, though I didn’t know about that.

And this weekend, from Thursday through Saturday, is the Color Guard’s final set of performances!

YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

image

It’s a pretty crazy weekend. Thursday and Firday, we have one performance each day, and Saturday we have two. The second performance on Saturday is the finals performance, which only fifteen groups in our class will perform in.

We’re gonna be one of those fifteen groups! It’s my senior year, we’re definitely gonna make it!

All of this is going on in Dayton, Ohio. We leave tonight at 6:00 for the city so that we don’t have to worry about driving all the way over tomorrow and can rush a bit less.

imageBy the way, because we’re going to be away from home, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog. Like always, I’m not sure if we’ll have internet connection. If we do, I’ll be sure to get out some posts! If we don’t… Well, I apologize ahead of time.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty obvious that this is how I’m celebrating today’s holiday. My color guard is made up of student athletes, and it just so happens that we’re missing two days of school because of it. It’ll take a bit of extra effort not to get behind, but that’s just what it takes to be a student athlete.

Beyond that, I don’t have much to say. I just want to wish all the other guards performing this weekend good luck, and I hope you’ll wish us good luck as well!

And if you could, pray that we all have a fun and safe weekend, and that we’ll maybe even make some new friends during this trip! It’s gonna be rough, and we need all the prayers we can get!

Have a wonderful day of celebration!


 

Picture sources: National Association of Music Education

The Cavaliers

Pepperell High School Band

 

Color Guard

A bit about the activity I love and why I love it.

There have been a few times in my posts where I’ve mentioned Color Guard and “my girls”. I am 99% confident that the majority of people who have and will read my blog have no clue what I’m talking about.

I am also 99% confident that almost no one just got my statistics pun.

These are the times when I realize I’m a complete nerd… (Insert deep sigh)

image

First off, ignore the scary/crazy/demented look on my face. I was really excited.

Second, I know there’s been a few times when I linked the words “Color Guard” to the wikipedia page for it (which, by the way, makes me laugh. It’s like reading a wikipedia page about high school. It feels like you’re reading about yourself).

My guess is that you didn’t click on it, and if you did, it didn’t help at all.

So, basically, Color Guard is a performing arts activity that some people consider a sport and some don’t, but technically it isn’t because it’s not part of the Olympics or something, but it should be because we run around just as much as, if not more than, any actual sports.

At its most basic level, Guard is that activity where people dance, spin (not twirl) flags, and play with weapons known as rifles and sabres.

At its most complex level, Guard is a hardcore activity where summer vacation becomes 5-12 hours every day spent in the blazing heat trying to put together a show, where winter vacation becomes a couple of weeks spent in a gym sweating and bleeding, where you worry more about getting blood on your uniform than the fact that you’re bleeding, where your greatest wish becomes making it to WGI finals.

Some people barely spare Guard girls (and guys) a passing glance. Some people think we’re crazy. Some people don’t even know who we are.

Truth is, we just love it.

I don’t know what makes other Guard girls stick around, but I stay because I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

Before Guard, I was the shyest girl you’d ever met. I rarely talked to anyone, and when I did, it was either because they initiated the conversation or I was too tired to realize what I was doing. I stayed quiet in my corner of every class, never did anything to draw attention to myself…

Basically, I was a turtle in a shell, hiding in plain sight.

Then I joined the Guard, and I had no choice but to forget all about my shy nature. The first day I walked into the Band room, this girl I didn’t even know came up to me and started going on and on about how she was one of my brother’s friends and how much she loved him and how much I’d love Guard.

At the time, I was overwhelmed, but I soon got used to it. I became accustomed to instructors coming over to adjust my arms and legs, to random Guard girls coming over to talk to me, to being watched by anyone and everyone.

I remember, at one competition, an upperclassman whom I’d become close to commented on how I’d come out of my shell. I was stunned, but I realized she was right.

From that moment on, I decided I liked not being shy. I didn’t feel the need to draw attention to myself, but I also didn’t feel the need to redirect any attention I recieved. I grew more confident in myself and my abilities, more attentive to detail, more comfortable in my own skin.

I found myself happy, and I knew that I finally belonged.

There are many more lessons I’ve learned, far too many to express in words. Guard is something you can’t truly understand unless you’re a part of it. Performing a show you’ve worked so many grueling hours on… It’s a wonderful feeling.

It hurts to know this is my last season. Once it ends, I’ll be leaving a piece of me behind.

But that time hasn’t come yet, so I’ll enjoy my last season of Guard while it lasts.

I hope this helps you understand, somehow. With the part about “my girls”, I don’t mean that only girls do Guard. It’s just that, in my Guard, we only have girls. I mean, technically we have one girl who’s gender-fluid, but I’ve gotten into the habit of calling them my girls and it’s a bit hard to break.

I don’t know if she/he minds. I think she/he just appreciates that we accept her and make the effort.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. This post was a bit longer than I meant it to be, so.

Until next time!

 

The Endless Hospital

As well as a failed trip to somewhere and a fight for my life. (Recounted Dream)

A few nights ago, I had a really weird dream.

Understand, when I have a weird dream, it isn’t like other weird dreams where the randomest things happen. In my strangest dreams, not everything makes sense, but there is some order to everything.

So this dream started off in a hospital parking lot. Except, it wasn’t a normal hospital. This hospital had no end. It wasn’t very tall, but in either direction, it disappeared into the distance.

There were cars in the parking lot, but a large rectangular area the size of a football field was clear and my Color Guard was practicing on it. No band, just the Guard.

The really weird part about the Guard was that it wasn’t a mismatch of people like you normally see in a dream. I recognized each girl as a girl who was or had been in the same Guard as me in the past. I even recognized my main director, and he acted exactly as he would in real life.

So during a break, I grab two of my closest friends and we go for a walk. We end up in an area of the hospital that, thinking back on it, looked vagueally like a pure white version of the outside of my school.

We enter the hospital and find ourselves in the entryway of a large waiting room, which is entirely filled but mostly quiet. Some people in the room are injured, some are sick, some have crying babies, but all are just waiting. Doctors and nurses enter and exit, but the room never clears.

My friends and I don’t stay long. When we exit, I bring up how I’ll have to leave our Guard trip to Ecuador (or Florida, somewhere tropical) early so that I can meet my family in China.

I don’t know why the whole Guard was taking a trip to somewhere tropical, and I don’t know why my family was in China or why I had to meet them there, but that’s what was happening.

So my friends tell me I’ll have to let our director know, and I say something along the lines of, “Of course! Actually, we should go right now.”

We get to the part of the parking lot we had been practicing on, only to find everyone taking the last few things they need or packing their bags.

I go up to my director and let him know the situation, and he says it’s fine, but I’ll need to be careful because he’s in charge of me so long as we’re on the trip. I agree to be careful, and we get going.

I turn around, and suddenly we’re in the airport. Everything is noisy and chaotic. The Guard is running around in a million places at once, getting their luggage checked in and getting their tickets and finding their passports and going through security, and it’s just crazy.

And then I realize, I need to leave to meet my parents in China right away. Somehow, I guess I’m already through the gate because I start pushing back through security, yelling over my shoulder to my friends that I have to go.

Then I’m racing through the airport with no idea where to go, no ticket, and only my backpack because I left my luggage behind. Yet I keep running. I don’t stop until I realize I’ve lost my passport, and only then do I feel lost and defeated.

I turn around and find myself in the library of my high school. A different close friend of mine stands with me, looking upset. Other people sit randomly around the room, all with pale faces and sunken eyes.

My friend tells me they’re sick, all of them, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to help them. Fear for them starts to fill me, but I know I can’t give up on them.

I step forward towards someone sitting nearby, and suddenly I’m in the middle of some hollowed-out tree. I turn around and can see the outside world: clear skies, green grass, but it looks more like a painting than reality.

I turn back around. Around me are five paths. One wide one directly in front of me, two narrower ones on either side of it, and two narrower one to either side of the outside world/painting.

I choose to go down the narrow path to my left, the one next to the wide one. I head down a set of stairs and find myself in a room with three paintings like the ones in a Mario game I used to play, where the paintings led to the different worlds.

Then I heard a laugh and turned around to find this stage, and on the stage one of those platforming Mario games was playing. And standing in front of the stage was Bowser. He was the one who laughed.

Somehow, I know Bowser was the one who had caused the illness of all those people, and I knew he had to be stopped. But I was just me.

He started attacking me and I did my best to fight back, but unlike the usual thing that happens where you become some ulmighty, powerful hero in the face of danger, I was still just me. I had no powers or strength or speed. I had nothing.

It was a hopeless battle and I knew it, but I couldn’t stop. There was no point to stopping. If I stopped, I would get sick and die like everyone else. If I kept fighting, Bowser would kill me.

I knew I was going to die, so I just kept fighting. And then I woke up.

I don’t know how the fight ended exactly, but my guess is I lost.