Marching band makes me sad and happy.

When I was in middle and high school, I wasn’t suicidal, but I didn’t want to be there. I was honest with my mom about those feelings when they became a bit too much; I said, “Mama, I promise you that I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to be here.”

First, concert band, and then, marching band, saved my life. It was because of a few reasons:

  1. Band teachers are incredible and they make you feel like you matter.
  2. Playing music as a band is the definition of “being part of something that is bigger than yourself.”
  3. Band people are weird and many are outsiders who don’t quite fit in anywhere else; it felt like home.

I went to the Drum Corps International Southeastern Championship in Atlanta last night with my fiancé. When the first marching band started performing, I automatically started to cry. I had a strong feeling that I would cry because I even have trouble holding back tears while listening to old band toons on Spotify as well. Something as impactful and as meaningful as marching band was bound to have an effect on me.

The title of this post is “Marching band makes me sad and happy”. For the reasons I listed above, marching band made and makes me happy. For these reasons, it makes me sad:

  1. Present day, I no longer play any instruments. When I see bands perform, I feel like I’m missing out.
  2. I have some of my best memories take place during my marching band years because of the people I was experiencing it with; even though I am still friends with some of those people, it’s just not the same.
  3. My anxiety, depression, and identity issues were at their peak while I was in marching band. Marching band was my escape, but when the games, competitions, and bus rides were over, it was back to a life that I hated.

DCI was amazing. This was my second time, and I would 100% go again, maybe in a different state.

No Regrets

I lived in Germany with my mother’s parents from October 2017 to March 2018. I decided to do a semester at the local university and simultaneously spend some time with grandparents that I only got to see once a year- and that was if I was lucky.

My grandfather passed away about a week and a half ago. He was 84. He was also in the largest police choir in east Hesse for several decades… I want to say about 50 years… he LOVED music and singing!

In December, he asked me if I wanted to attend the Christmas concert they always put on with the children’s choir each year. My grandmother warned me that the children’s choir wasn’t particularly good and that I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to.

It didn’t take me long to agree to go because I knew I’d probably never get the chance to see him perform again and I didn’t even know the next time I’d be able to go to Germany. I haven’t been back since I left in March 2018, so looking back, I am SO incredibly happy that I was able to see him perform.

The children’s choir was very boring, yes, but the police choir was awesome. There was also a soloist who sang Hallelujah and it even brought some of the kids to tears- so cute.

The last picture I have of me and my grandpa is one with my grandma as well. We were at a family member’s birthday party and it was a very social and very exciting event- I had a blast. And my grandpa looked so happy!

Even though we live on opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean, I still have an amazing relationship with my grandparents. We text and video-chat and it was really important to me to study over there/live over there at one point in my life. I’m really really glad I was able to make that happen.

Sitting in a Starbucks

I’m currently sitting in a squishy chair on the back wall of a Starbucks in Atlanta, GA. Across the room is what seems to be a mother and her child. The mom looks to be in her late 20s and her daughter can’t be older than 8.

Mom is wearing a light grey maxi dress and her hair is long and shiny. Her daughter is wearing a pink camo romper and a cat ear headband. They’re both sipping drinks. Mom is working on her computer and daughter is putting together what looks to be a puzzle.

An upbeat song comes on and the daughter begins dancing in her seat. Mom looks up, smiles, and joins her in her dancing.

Before you call me a complete creep, let me explain why I felt the need to write about this:

There is a very specific list of things that make me cry. Seemingly loving and healthy family relationships are one of them.

I’m not hinting that I had an undesirable childhood. My mom may not have danced in Starbucks with me, but we did many other lovely things together. My dad and I also didn’t have a difficult time when I was younger. I enjoyed most of childhood very much. However, I know so many people who’s childhoods were so fucked up and when I see people so simply involved with their children, it makes me so happy.