I've been out of high school for all of seven months, but it's been an entire year since I've twirled my last color guard flag on a football field. My last year twirling was the most tearful year ever, and I had never cried more in high school than I did when I walked off the field from my last band competition ever or when I sat in my car crying for an hour after my last football game ever. And I mean ever.
I loved color guard with all of my heart, but it took up a bulk of my time because the practices sometimes went over, I would go home and practice a routine until I was perfect, do homework right after, I was in three big organizations in school, I was beginning my writing career with Odyssey, and I had a job as a waitress (which was stressful in itself), so being on guard forced me to learn time management and decide what was important to me and what wasn't; for college, I wanted to be all about academics, involvement, and Odyssey, so color guard was out of question for me.
Colorguard gave me some of the best friends I will have ever made (and brought me closer to people I never would've talked to), but nobody in college cares about that. Nobody cares that I wear my old color guard sweatshirt. Nobody cares that I was a part of an award-winning band. Nobody cares to hear about the crazy stories that I've accumulated over those three years. People just smile at my old color guard pictures and keep going. They don't care.
But I care. Being in guard allowed me to enjoy the best sides of myself because, without it, I don't know what I would be doing. It gave me a place to feel safe (even if I was stressed out 99.9% of the time) from everything else. Will I make my daughter try out for the guard at her school? No, because I'm not gonna force my children to do anything just so I can "relive the good old days," but I will let her know that if she chooses to try out, not to be disappointed if she doesn't make it and if she does make it, to enjoy it because it's the one time in her life that she will feel stress and happiness all in one. Thank you color guard for the best three years of my life.