The year was 2010. My High School Concert Band was taking a trip to Durango Colorado. My face was filled with excitement, which could easily be recognized, except no one would recognize it since I didn't really have any friends. Still, I packed my suitcase and hopped on the Red Carpet charter bus for what was going to be the turning point in my life.
When we arrived at the Purgatory Ski Resort, I was roomed with three other people in my band who didn't really have an interest in being my friend. They were all three-clarinet players. While myself being a trumpet player, we weren’t very compatible. After we played in our contest our reward was the rest of the day off which would be filled with: exploring, sightseeing, and skiing. I loved to ski, the only problem was, I didn’t have anyone to ski with. Our directors made it pretty simple, no partner, no skiing.
With the foolish mind of a teenager, I decided I was experienced enough to not need a partner, therefor I decided to go by myself. When we arrived to the mountain with my warm jacket on and tightly fitted ski boots, I was off. The fresh mountain air being wrapped around me as I sped down the slope was invigorating. I was able to escape my life and start a new one. One where it didn’t matter if you had friends or not, it only mattered that you had fun. Quickly though, my old life caught right back up with me as I skied right into a snowdrift.
What I remembered from ski school was when you fall in a snowdrift; your ski partner would reach their pole to help pull you out. I didn’t have that partner to help. While I began to convince myself I was going to be eaten by a polar bear (even though we were in Colorado), hope arrived. A group from my school came skiing right past me. A flutist’s eye caught me and she quickly grabbed the others to come to my rescue.
After using the buddy system to pull me out of my snowy grave, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
“Hey would you like to come skiing with us? You really shouldn’t be skiing by yourself” Said the flutist.
“Yeah! I’d really like that, I’m Austin by the way,” I said.
“We know, we were looking for you when we got off the bus, we were going to ask if you wanted to ski with us, but you ran away so quickly we didn’t get the chance to ask” said a trombonist from the group.
When hearing this my heart stopped and my eyes widened larger than the sun. I then realized that it was foolish for me to have gone by myself, and I should have asked to ski with them from the beginning. I also found that being trapped in that snowdrift gave me the confidence I needed to put myself out there and socialize with the people I saw as instruments rather than friends.
So I went with them and skied for the rest of the day, we even took a picture at the top of the mountain to commemorate this event. Yet, for me, that picture isn’t just a memory of a great vacation, it was my new beginning.
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