Sunday, August 1, 2010


I was sorting through my iTunes the other day and looking back on all the old music I have stored on there and I got a bit nostalgic. The nostalgia hit over a very unlikely song. It wasn't Vitamin C's Graduation song, it wasn't Green Day's Time of Your Life, it was a Paula Cole song. More specifically, it was MISSISSIPPI by Paula Cole. I was listening to it and I was immediately transported back to High School.

Not exactly a song that triggers the word "High School," eh? Yeah I didn't think so at first. But there's a story behind it, and THAT story is all about High School.

I know I joke about it, but I really did enjoy my time in the Color Guard at my school. It was a great group and we had so much fun! There was an off-season core of Color Guard called Winter Guard that was basically Color Guard without the marching band and football field. It was generally held in a gym and you got to be more creative and incorporate more fluid dance motions.

One year for our Winter Guard competition, my director encouraged us to compete in the short program in smaller groups. So my friend Jennifer, who we all called Jen (Dot) E, got together and decided to create a routine to Paula Cole's MISSISSIPPI. To us it was an piece that two completely emo kids could appreciate and loaned itself to our obscure version of Winter Guard as an art. One of my favorite things in working with Jen.E was that both of us were dedicated to a "no-holds-barred" routine. I mean, c'mon, as if the lyrics weren't edgy enough—we tried new flag throws, hit some crisp moves, and flowed through it as we added our own little sexually suggestive flair. Yes folks, we had hormones just like everyone else our age. But the fun was in creating the moves and combining our brains to make them big, proud, and full of force. It was during that song, doing those moves, that we felt free to be us.

We didn't win an award, and I'm sure the judges were mildly confused about our message, but it was one of those moments I look back on and I'm like, "THAT'S WHAT IT WAS ABOUT." There was freedom to dream, to challenge ourselves, and to walk out onto that floor and for a moment get lost in the art.

It's about time for my 10-year High School reunion, but I'm not going to be able to make it. It comes right at a time for one of our big project deadlines and too close to my Christmas vacation that it wouldn't be very wise to pay for the extra plane ticket (those suckers aren't cheap). But as I've been debating it and weighing the pros and cons, and figuring out what the wisest decision is, it has made me more grateful for the people who have taken a part in shaping who I am. Jen.E was a part, Jennifer A. was a part. Jessica, Lilly, Monica, Chris, Elaine, Amber, Toni & Andres, and all of my other High School friends were a part. Over the past few years, I've gotten out of touch with a lot of them, but thanks to social networking have been able to reconnect.

The thing I love most is knowing that the moments we shared were so special and meaningful that just a song, or just a phrase, or just an image can pop in my mind and I can remember specific events and how happy we were to be friends. I am so entirely grateful for the friends I've made in my life and I look forward to making more!

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