Friday, July 9, 2010

Hefty Price for Success

A true story.

In the spring of 1987, my family moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania.  Because I had such a positive experience as a member of the marching band in my previous high school, I decided to try out for the band front at my new school.  After tryouts, the results were posted on the band office door, with each girl's name and score listed by rank.  The highest twenty girls made the kick line, and the next thirty girls made the flag line.  I was both surprised and a little bit disappointed that I scored highest.  It was gratifying to have received the highest score, but at my previous school, the colorguard viewed the kickline as the "bimbo bridgade" - not as talented, and eye candy for the horny men at the football games.  Quite a conundrum for the new girl who didn't get why kickline was the Holy Grail for so many!

The girls who wanted to be captain of the squads had to write an essay explaining why they should be chosen to lead their squad.  I was unaware at the time I submitted my essay that there were already two girls who were the anticipated leaders for next year.  Imagine my further surprise when I - me, the new girl - was named one of the kick line captains!

The excitement of my achievement was relatively short lived.  While my new friends (two of whom were also on the kickline and who are still good friends to this day) congratulated me and were sincerely happy for my success, there were several girls who didn't know me but decided that they hated me anyway because I took what they felt was rightfully theirs.  And there were several girls in the band front who decided that they weren't going to give me the time of day for the same reason.

So let's recap:  I had been a student at this new school for probably six or seven weeks when I had tried out for, made, and was named captain of the kickline, then became an instant pariah amongst a certain crowd (who had spoken all of maybe ten sentences to me) because of it.

What should have been a crowning achievement in my high school career was forever tarnished.

On the upside, by the spring of our senior year, some of the girls who initially hated me actually sought me out to apologize for how they treated me.  I do appreciate that these girls did that, but the damage had already been done.

No wonder fear, and fear of success, has been such a factor in my life.

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