Ok, not totally. You're actually really close, but I did come back for one last trip up to Northern Wisconsin because why not? I already knew all the music, and the steps, and I worked really hard to get there and our director said I could, so I did. The three alumni who went on the band trip actually all came back, so I wasn't alone either.
And as awesome as it was to march five parades in one day, it was also one of the most frustrating trips I have ever been on in my life, for reasons far beyond my control. But this all has a deeper meaning, because I realized something after that trip, and I'd like to share a little bit of that with you right now. What follows is actually part of an 8 page document that I wrote up, basically ranting and writing down my thoughts so I can come back to it when I want to write a book on this entire experience. It's good to get it out of your head right away so you don't start changing things.
"It's funny how people say that you can't fully understand something until it happens to you. Like if a loved one dies, you instantly can understand the pain your friend is in when one of their loved ones passes away. Or how, being a huge Disney Geek, I understand that you can only really feel the magic of Disney once you've actually visited Walt Disney World or Disneyland for yourself.
But while I've always been a huge supporter of the No Hate campaign, specifically when it comes to fandoms such as Once Upon A Time, I think I finally understand. Just about every single day, you see people sending hate to the actors or writers or creators of the wonderful show, and I've always wondered how they can do something like that. How can you just send hurtful messages and comments to people who are only trying to do their job?
Well I get it now. I understand what it's like. People are always talking about how they want to be famous. They want to make an impact on the world, or be on TV or record a hit pop song. Something like that. But to tell you the truth, you don't want to do that. With fame, no matter how big or small, comes a hell of a late of hate, and it 100% truthfully sucks."
I go on to talk a bit more about my background with the band, but you already know most of that, or at least you would if you've been reading for a while. To sum it up, I came in when the band director was pretty new. Things were certainly not working and the band was dropping numbers. I served on band council all four years of my high school career, first as representative, then treasurer, Vice President and finally President. In addition, I was the drum major my senior year, and all of the above inspired me to become a music major. There are certainly things I'm leaving out, but that's the basis. But what's really important is what I talk about at the end of the document, and while this is just a rough draft and there's a lot missing (because you don't want to read a book here), I'll just share this:
"I said at the beginning of all this that you can't really understand what a person is feeling when they go through a situation until you've been through it yourself. For the most part, none of us are famous. We don't hold the power of the President of the United States or appear on television every week like the actors of Once Upon A Time, but sometimes we hold little bits of power in our own right, whether we are handed that power or worked for years to get it. But what doesn't change in any case is the amount of hate that you are sent. I spent five years with the High School Band. Five years where I gave my all, was there when they needed me, and worked to do what was best not for me, but for the group. I guess you could say that in the eyes of those against me, all I ever did was care. I cared too much. I put in too much time, and I needed to stop. I help positions far higher than the little freshman walking into the band room for the first time could have ever imagined. I served four years on council, the leadership group of the band. I was the drum major, a position that some would call the highest honor. I came back as an alumni for a once in a lifetime experience. And for the most of it, I received hate. I still do. Those that run the band now may have flaws, but we all do. I had them, for sure. That's no reason to say that they can't lead the band just as well if not better than I did in my time there. But no matter what, it doesn't give them any right to send me hate because maybe I DID work harder. Maybe I DID put in more time. And maybe, just maybe, I DID earn more power from that work. The lesson here is that hate, no matter it's shape and form, hurts. It can be simple jealous of what another had, a facebook status that maybe you think no one will figure out, or it can be doing absolutely nothing. There's more to this story than I think I could ever tell, but I do get it. With great power comes great responsibility, and that's something I'll never forget. And with that great power and great responsibility comes great amounts of hate. You will never, ever, make everyone happy, but you have to always stick to what you believe is right, even if sometimes it's not what's right for you, but right for those around you.
So am I mad at those who have hurt me? Yes, I very much am. But am I going to let it stop me from moving forward and reaching out towards my new goals, whatever they end up being? No. I'll stand by my decisions in the past and the future, and I'll continue to do the work I've started. I'll continue to support and be there for those that remain in the group, and I will continue to do only what I believe is right. Because I'm the only one who can write my story, just as the writers of Once Upon A Time are the only people who can write their's."
Have a magical day & Happy Fourth of July!
(Note: This blog post was written on August 8, with additions from July 8).