in between

In between. It can be a lonely place.

I went for my former a cappella group’s concert tonight and left it feeling kind of melancholy. A simple answer for why is that I miss singing with them. They’re truly a great bunch – talented, chill, tons of fun… So yeah, I do miss getting to hang out with them three times a week. But I do know why I left, and I know that it was the right decision to make. I don’t regret it. It’s just always difficult being on the outside looking in.

Possibly the only thing more difficult than that is being in between, neither fully in nor fully out. As a former member of the current group, I’ve got connections. I’ll always have a connection to Exit as a group (even as members change), but it’s harder right now because I was a part of this specific group of people that make up Exit 2010-11. It was a good parting, and I know that I’m always welcome (I paid a visit backstage before the concert and even warmed up with them for fun), but things will never be the same again.

I sat in the audience laughing at people’s signature moves that I used to see all the time during practices, inside jokes, stories behind songs that were being sung… Things that I know because I had the privilege of being in the group. Things that no one else in the audience can really appreciate with me. Things that necessarily separate me from others.

The in-between is a place of contrary emotions. It is the crossroads at which joy and sadness, pain and healing, loneliness and companionship, and many others, meet. Tonight, I felt such a huge sense of pride as I listened to them from a different perspective, but also a huge wave of sadness and nostalgia for all the reasons mentioned above.

Part of me wonders when that will disappear, and whether that is a better place to be in. When will I lose that special connection, that inside knowledge? As I move further and further away from them, as seniors graduate and new members are initiated, I change, like a chameleon, to blend in more with the rest of the audience. I will necessarily become more like them, and yet, there will always be something in me that sets me apart. (I will always be biased, that’s for sure!)

But even as I mull over these thoughts and let them roll around in my mind and heart, I am reminded that loss is a part of life, and the feelings that accompany it are not unnatural. I need not shy away from them, nor try to deny them. In fact, that would only do me harm. I don’t want to distance myself more than is natural. It always seems easier to cut some ties completely, but I don’t want to do that. It was never about me, anyway. So let the sadness come in waves, because I will be washed over by them, but I will not drown. It is simply a matter of nature. I am being made into who I will be, my present quickly becoming my past, which inadvertently affects my future. I am rambling now, which is a sure sign that it’s time to stop here and go and write my paper.

Just one last thing: At the end of the day, I am still just overwhelmingly thankful for the opportunity to have met all of these wonderful people and amazing singers. Thanks, God. <3

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