Recently, I’ve had the fortune to participate in a lot of group activities. I went to Spain with the high school choir, played in the pit band for a new musical, Body of Water, and attended a family reunion in Chicago. I’ve learned something about what it means to be a part of a group from each of them.
I’ll start off by wrapping up the Spain journal I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. I was melancholy after the choir tour. It felt strange to wake up and eat breakfast alone, and the silence in my house was unnerving compared to the boisterous activity of the choir. As I reflected on the choral tour, I realized that I had made new friends and deeper relationships, both of which would be lost as we seniors in choir go on our way. I was amazed at how well I could get to know some one in such a short amount of time, and how quickly that disappeared. Spain was partly an encouraging experience, because it showed me how easy it is to find common ground with other people. However, it also showed me how jarring it is when there’s a big change in my day-to-day life. *Cough* College *Cough.*
Body of Water was a different experience. First, a bit of background about the show. It’s the first production of A Theatre Near U, which is a new theatre company focused on providing a professional atmosphere for young actors and filmmakers. I was brought in as a violinist in the last two months of rehearsal for Body of Water, and I really had only two and a half weeks of solid rehearsal before we opened. Compared to the cast (all talented and nice people), who had been working on the show for 10 months, I felt like a bit of an outsider. However, even though I wasn’t living with the cast and crew like I was with the choir, I still managed to make some new friends in the band and the cast. It seems that between lunches at the farmer’s market, late night rehearsals, and forty five minute car rides to and from the city, I avoided complete isolation. Thinking back on it, we were doing something new, and that more than anything brought us together.
The day after Body of Water‘s closing night I was on a plane to Chicago. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have a family reunion during the summer or holiday season. They’ve served as milestones in my childhood, but as I change, they are also changing. Some of my cousins have their own place, others have found talents in sports, and we’ve acquired a bit more responsibility than we used to have. The oldest cousin on this side of the family missed the last reunion because he was in Spain (seems to be the thing to do during the summer) but thankfully he made it to this one. We had a good time exploring the city: the Field Museum, the Bean, Trump tower, the Federal Reserve Building, the usual tourist things. But we also went to see Northwestern (two of my cousins are applying to college next year), played bughouse chess (sort of a tradition), and made an end-of-reunion slideshow. I think it was at this reunion that I most felt that my cousins and I were no longer children.
This post could very well have been titled “Moving On: Part III” because it deals with the feeling that comes with being in between. I’m not a high school student anymore, but I’m not a college student yet. I’m still a part of my family, but no longer as connected. And I’m legally an adult, but I’m miles away from the maturity and wisdom that my parents, aunts, and uncles have.
Thankfully, I know that I’ll soon be entering college with a bunch of people who are also doing something new. In the meantime, that feeling of being “in between” has given me the freedom to explore a bunch of other things. I’ve been writing more, teaching myself how to play nice chords on a guitar, running, and reading. And that’s where I’m at right now.