Color Guard: Just a Little Out of Place

Time for another Minnesota Brass update. Ever since I started this adventure about six weeks ago, I’ve felt out of place. I still do. And that’s one of the reasons I think I have to keep doing it.

Last week the entire color guard was supposed to come. The veterans haven’t been coming to practice because they already know all the basic moves, having done color guard for years either in high school or with a DCI drum corps or with Minnesota Brass itself. It’s been mostly just the rookies (I’m the only one left who’s totally new to spinning) or a few people working on rifles. I’ve enjoyed our very tiny Wed. night practices.

Then last week there were suddenly 20 people or so, mostly under age 25. It was like being back in high school. Before we got started, everyone was divided into their little groups, catching up with color guard friends they hadn’t seen since last autumn. I just sat there. Every minute dragged on for ages.

It was like being the new kid in class, the one nobody really wants there because they were doing just fine without you there, thank you very much.

As I sat there, I thought about how much I felt this way as a kid (and sometimes as an adult, too, like when I first started going to writers’ conferences). You know, when you feel like a big, obvious statue in the middle of a room–an ungainly, out-of-place element that people avoid but can’t really ignore? Or maybe that’s just me!

Anyway, I felt so awkward, so I started daydreaming about stories and wondering if I have a character that feels this way. And if I do, I have a new empathy I can put to work in the story. Because even when I felt self-conscious at writers’ conferences, I knew these were my people–I just didn’t actually know them yet. But color guard, these are totally not my people! I am out of place. They know it. I know it.

So, in order to not waste the hideous feelings of not belonging, I’m going to use it in my writing. Oh, the sacrifices we make:>)

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