It was the last day of my "most important class" in college (this is what I was told). It was the lesson I was told NO ONE should miss. It was with Dr. Madsen... a very much respected and esteemed professor at FSU in the College of Music.
The lesson: Who Claps for You?
I was completely disappointed.
It was really a big waste of a last class for me.
I truly left that classroom that day completely confused and lost.
That was it? That was the big lesson???
What a ridiculous let down!!!
That class had always bugged me. It was almost haunting... i mean... maybe I just wasn't getting it??
WHO CLAPS FOR ME???
Then in my last year of Marching Chiefs I experienced part of the lesson.
It was my last banquet in Chiefs.
And it was time for Dr. Dunnigan to hand out Medals of Honor. My 5th year and I haven't received one yet. As the names went on and on... my spirits started to lower. I kind of had a feeling this might happen. I was sort of the rebel anyway. And I was dating a guy who was kicked out of Chiefs to boot. When the last name was called and it wasn't mine I left the banquet early. I left my last banquet EVER in Marching Chiefs early. I didn't stay for the pictures, for the final hymn, etc. etc. I was in a totally "fuck it all" state. Looking back I don't mind. I left with John... and that's the part that matters. He supported me. And believed more than ever that I deserved a medal more than anyone else. More than flirty baton twirlers or people stuck up other's asses.
But I left.
And then the next day sought after Dr. Dunnigan for an explanation.
I sat in his office crying.
And that's when he brought up that damn lesson.
"Autumn, who claps for you?"
I was extremely bitter he brought it up. Because I knew what he was trying to get at.
It's a stupid medal.
And it doesn't matter in the end.
Because it's not always about what all these other people think.
It's about the people who matter.
Now I could care less.
About that medal.
About any of the worthless things back in college that I used to think were such a big deal.
But now I am in a new stage of life.
And I am starting to wonder who claps for me.
I know for sure that I am clapping for myself and I know that Ryan will always clap for me.
And I for sure know that John will clap for me until the day I die.
But, I often wonder who else stands in my corner... cheering me on... truly wanting good things to happen.
My job doesn't always give me the applause that I deserve.
It makes me want to give up on it sometimes.
Yes, I am like a fairy. I need applause or else I die.
We all need encouragement sometimes. We all need to know we are good at what we do. We all need help going along.
And it's those people who truly MATTER who will get you there.
I can't be thankful enough to have the biggest fan in the world, Ryan. He makes me want to be better everyday. A minute ago I opened his phone and it said "You will be successful in everything you do today." HE EVEN IS GOOD AT MOTIVATING HIMSELF!
but I still wonder.
Who claps for me.
Besides the obvious.
And why is the obvious answer not so obvious.... why can't I clap for myself more? Why can't I believe in myself to be more than what I am?
Clap for me, please.