It's full of inevitable decisions to be made and people to please. But the tricky thing is, I usually make decisions that I know are right, but it never pleases anybody.
Months ago, upon finding out State Band and Varsity Tour were the same week, a familiar groan filled my room.
What else is new?
I've lived with stuff like this for 4 straight years. But I've always made it work. Both sides were never 100% charged with happiness, but they had to live with it. Most of the time, ballroom got shafted. Band was (and is) my top priority. But from the band side of things, I wasn't always there as much as I would have liked to be because I was busy making people happy.
"We'll make it work" my mom said.
A plane ticket from Long Beach to SLC was only $80. It could work. It didn't seem like a bad idea. I'd drive down with the team, compete at the competition, play around with them for a day or two, get a cab to take me to the airport and fly to Salt Lake Friday morning to join the band just in time for state.
But it didn't feel right.
Something about this whole process was just eating at me. And people on team kept nagging, questioning how I would make it happen. Not going on the trip was NOT an option, so I mentioned the proposal to quiet them, trying to convince the team and my own mind this would happen, yet still unsettled myself. Besides the fact that the tour would be just a $350 vacation to SoCal (which, after being in band for 4 years, went against everything I'd ever been taught), I decided that all arrows pointed towards me staying the week in good 'ole P-Town to chill my band peeps. When asked about my decision by few people, I myself didn't even have an answer, but I knew regardless it was right.
And then came the day that was probably on the list of top 5 saddest days of my life. Instantly, I knew why I made the decision I had. I knew that the nagging, unsettled discomfort attacking my heart and brain was a nudging of the Spirit to help me make this decision. Cliche, I know, but I couldn't deny it. How was I supposed to leave my band for a week, miss the last rehearsals EVER (and yes, ever. No exaggerations there), show up hours before one of the last performances EVER, and expect it to be something special. I couldn't do that to them. Not like they need me or think of me as that important or anything, but I felt like I owed it to them. I owe them my best after them giving me the best 4 years of my life.
So here we are - the week of departure, the week of showtime, Timpview. People are still oblivious to what has been happening, and I don't blame them. I don't shout things off the mountain top to get attention (I just write here!). Every day without fail will I hear the phrase, "you're not going?!"
So in case any of y'all were reading this and didn't hear, no. I am not going.
Yet I still get crap about it. I miss opportunities and sacrifice activities in band, and I get accused of choosing band over dance - loving them more than my team. I hear choruses of my so called non existent commitment and level of devotion to them. I fight the battle of prioritizing activities and conflicts.
However true that may be, I can't deny the fact that I have also had the best 4 years with my team. It has taught me a lot. Not all good things, but it taught me lessons band and DF never could. And despite how much I may have complained recently, I wouldn't have changed anything - coaches, team members, changes, curveballs, and all.
and it hurts. The fact that they think I don't care about them. I couldn't bare to watch them rehearse, all of them giggling about the plans for the trip. It was nothing new, but I felt like an outcast, shoved to the side, looked down upon. And I know for a fact some of them are actually happy I'm not going. Did I expect my senior year on team to turn out like this? Heck no. Months ago I was dreaming of playing in California with all of them, but it doesn't always happen the way you think it will.
Dr. Fullmer even talked to me about it for a bit. "Is it true your dance team is going to California without you?" was then followed by a shy nod from me and an "I'm sorry. It shouldn't be like that." and then silence. I almost cried, because at that moment I just wanted to scream to him that it doesn't matter!
I'm where I'm supposed to be!
I love the band SO FREAKING MUCH that I would do anything for them. ANYTHING.
So no matter how many "we'll miss you so much, Nicole!"'s I hear, it doesn't help anything. Because the time will come, and the bus will leave without me, and I will make my own paradise on the Jordan High School stage with my absolute favorite people in the world, doing the thing I love most.
And in the end, I know what I chose was right. And I will never regret it.