Those reading this will have to bear with me. This is just something I wanted to get off my own chest for my own reasons. :-)
Now now… this isn’t anything bad, really. I’d been thinking recently about things that happened in my past. Everyone has things that they regret. Most people know that one of my big ones was going into music instead of computers when I went to college. Don’t get me wrong, though; I loved being in music in high school, and marching band was one of my favorite things about college. I also loved my time in the music program in high school. However, there were two things about my time in Klein Oak’s music program that I wish I had handled differently.
- Being in the symphony orchestra my junior year: I was last chair flutist in the symphony orchestra. I was rather proud of myself for having gotten in. However, when it came time for the contest portion of the season, my pride soon turned into frustration. Time and time again, the director would cut me out of parts of the program, because the flutes were “too loud”. (Then again, it didn’t help that there were five of us.) It finally got to the point where in three pieces of music, I played in one small part in one piece. I literally turned to Jody and Patti and asked softly, “What the hell am I still doing here?” They nodded in sympathy. I should have quit. I was not needed, and frankly I felt my continued presence there was a bit insulting.
- My letter jacket: At our high school, you lettered in band if you managed to earn ten points, and if you were a sophomore or junior you started out with points. The closest I came to lettering was in my junior year of high school, and that was because I was in a couple of different groups for solo & ensemble. However, I didn’t realize my flute needed repairs and as a result I got lousy scores, negating my chances of getting a jacket. There was a rumour of something called a “sympathy jacket”, where if you were a senior in band without a jacket, they gave you one. I had never heard of anyone getting one, as everyone who made it their senior year had a jacket.
Fast forward to summer band before my senior year of high school. The band director was making announcements, and giving the list of people who needed to give their sizes for letter jackets. The list was read… and my name was on there. After practice, I walked up to him and told him that there was a mistake: I hadn’t earned enough points for the jacket. He replied that he had gone ahead and given me one. I had gotten a sympathy jacket.
… to this day the thing could burn for all I care. I’ve worn it, but I’ve never felt happy having it. I didn’t earn it, and its mere existence is a reminder to me that someone took pity on me. I should have refused the damn thing. I could have lived with knowing I didn’t earn a jacket. I don’t like having a jacket I know in my heart I didn’t earn.
These may sound a tad foolish, but those had always bothered me. Do I feel any better having gotten them off my chest? Time will tell. However, I’m hoping I will; life’s too short to go through it full of regrets…