"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you"
(For Good, from the Broadway Musical Wicked)
I'm a lyrics person. Probably because I sing. Lyrics are poetry, and they often "speak" to me. That's why I have quoted the above for you - because they spoke to me this weekend in the car. I was driving at sunrise from one touchstone in my life to another, and this song popped up on my playlist. I teared up while I was driving, because it was SO TRUE.
One could argue that I was just mid-life hormonal and tired at the time, (Lord knows that happens to me often enough LOL), but I felt the impact of those words right then, for where I was right at that moment, and doing exactly what I was doing.
What I was doing, was driving to my second shooting match of the weekend - with a quartet singing engagement sandwiched in between.
In a 24 hour span, I had shot my G42 BUG gun in my last IDPA club match of the season (and didn't do too awful bad, either), then ran home, showered, changed clothes, grabbed my gear and drove an hour and half north to meet my quartet gals for a singing engagement. I then stayed overnight in the hotel we performed in, got up at 6AM, donned my range gear, set the phone GPS and drove to a Level II USPSA match at sunrise the next morning. Welcome to my life :-)
When the alarm went off at 6AM I still had raccoon eyes from the stage make-up the night before. I don't wear make-up too often, and I'm apparently bad at getting it back off again. I didn't even really like the eye shadow colors, but that was what the chorus we were singing with was wearing, and our Bass is a member of that chorus. (That's Bass - as in voice part, not Bass as in fishing - just thought I should clarify that for this readership LOL!) Our quartet was singing as a part of the yearly show/fundraiser that this chorus puts on.
My quartet mates are my surrogate sisters. I don't have any sisters of my own, and my sis's-in-law are so far away that I'm lucky I get to see them once a year. So my Tenor, my Baritone, and my Bass (I sing Lead) are the sisters I never had. I would do almost anything for my quartet sisters - including wearing icky eye shadow, and paying for my own hotel room so as not to make anyone uncomfortable with the gun and gear in the room. (Maybe one of these days I'll try to take my singing sisters to the range, but I haven't pushed it yet)
My quartet sisters put up with my grumpy moods, and my flat notes. They put up with my work schedule and my stage nerves. (That's performance stage, not shooting stage - just another clarification LOL) We are all control freaks in our own ways, so we all "get" that, and realize that sometimes you just can't stop yourself. I have learned so much from them about harmony - both in music and in life.
There are also people who have come into my life, and taught me something, but didn't stay. Two people in particular were on my first medical service trip to Guatemala in 2000. It was they who "led" me into medicine by their example. I was lab tech at the time. Now I'm a physician - because I knew them - however briefly.
My shooting life (dare I say "passion"? LOL), continues to evolve with virtually each new person I meet. The seeds were originally planted by one person, who has continued to provide much needed fertilizer along the way (and I mean that in the most flattering way possible LOL), but the pruning, and weeding and cultivating of my shooting life have been performed by many people - all of whom have taught me something, or many things. Even this blog came about by chance squadding and conversation. That's how my life seems to work.
I now have a much valued shooting sister- and even brother-hood. I now have friends and acquaintances all over the country. I run into people at one match, that I met at another match. I run into people from one discipline that I met in another. I am admittedly bad with names, and am better with faces, but if I see you in the grocery store or even at a match dinner, and you aren't wearing your hat, glasses and ear pro, I may not recognize you immediately. Please don't take it personally - I am still immensely grateful for what I learned from you - even if my brain is temporarily displaying the "Processing - Please Wait" icon -LOL!
Despite the busy schedule, I really had a fantastic weekend. My club put on a really cute and fun Halloween-themed IDPA match. There were zombies attacking your car. There were undead rising from their graves. There were werewolves to be subdued, floating ghosties to dodge, and there was even a flying witch on a zipline. The gun fairies put in a lot of thought and hard work. I had a blast.
The chorus show went really well, and I enjoyed myself. I messed up some notes early on, but our renditions of "Mr Sandman" and "Weekend in New England" went well and our quartet was welcomed and well-received. (Note to self - In the future, don't attempt bell chords immediately after a heavy meal - Uuurp)
The Tri-State Match was a great time, and I had a good squad. I even got to shoot with a new Babes With Bullets Alum- it was her third whole match ever. (Go Girl!) We traded cameras and video'd eachother. There were only 8 women shooting out of 120- some participants, and three of them were on our squad. How boring all the other squads must have been - LOL!
The most memorable stage for me was the Evil Clown stage. There were steel poppers which activated the clown's eyes to drop down and reveal targets behind (for a whole 1.5 seconds or something), before one had to go prone to shoot through the clown's mouth to get the other targets behind. I had the dubious distinction of being the only shooter that day to get the clown smack in the eyeball, because I was too slow! You mean that wasn't a bullseye???! ;-) So after the match was over, someone recorded the evidence for me.
There are a few videos posted to the Facebook page too, if you like motion over stills :-)
I won't say anything about my scores, other than there were four DQ's and none of them were me. I also wasn't last. So, therefore, I win! :-D Also, just for the sympathy vote, I should tell you that I lost my front fiberoptic rod somewhere during my 6th stage. You mean people should carry replacements for those??? Who knew??? I kept on going using the front "hole" though, and finished the match. One of my male stage mates gave me props for "powering through" LOL! One of the squad RO's even told me what to do to replace it. (though I still have to Youtube it - I do better with visual demonstrations)
It really was a great weekend. I learned some new things (like about fiberoptic rods, and heavy meals) had lots of laughs, and made some new friends. Even the sunrise on the way to the match made my day special.
All of which brings me back to sitting in my car and tearing up at that song. It made me realize that where I was, right then, was a result of all of the people who had influenced my life up to that moment. I didn't live in isolation. I realized how indebted I am to all of the people who changed my life. So, THANK YOU - all of you.
"Because I knew you ... I have been changed for good."