I don't think I've been this exhausted since I moved to the NYC area. I leave work around 9:30 or 10 p.m., go home just to rinse and repeat the process all over again in a few short hours.
We had a random snowstorm on Tuesday night and I was at work until 10:30. When I work past 9, my company pays for a car to come pick me up and take me to my door in New Jersey. It's nice. ^However because of the snow, not many drivers were available. The wait time, according to the company's operator, was 90 minutes. I was not waiting that long. I decided to take a taxi to the PATH train. From there I would take a Hoboken taxi to my front door because, after the long hours, simplicity is key. The less walking I have to do in the bitter cold late at night makes the $10 spent on transportation worthwhile. While I rushed to the PATH train and got myself a seat, I realized that all the other seats were taken too. I wasn't the only one coming home late at night. As I situated myself, I finally realized how exhausted I actually was. Everyone around me appeared absolutely exhausted. All of our faces were lifeless and our eyes were on the brink of closure. It was 10:45 p.m. and I'm assuming most of us had work again the next morning. I came to the conclusion that this is what I must look like on the field during the summer in between reps. In fact, we all probably look like this when we are waiting for instructions. Somehow when the music starts, we come to life. I wasn't sure if music could save me at work, so I brought my old alarm clock radio in to the office with me, hoping it would relive some of the exhaustion that I felt during the day. The radio is helping a little. I flip through a couple stations and find myself singing along every now and then. I am willing to wake up the next morning at get to work early like I always do, but I have a paycheck and bills that depend on it. During the summer, my alarm clock was a drum major younger than me, whose voice was just as groggy as mine early in the morning. We all woke up for a day filled of intangible rewards. I don't know how I made it through a long day of rehearsal with more environmental conditions then I could imagine at work. I tell myself when I'm here late at night that this is nothing compared to my summer. In comparison to my friends, I slept a lot during the summer. I know people that would stay up late or wait until after the first rest stop to start sleeping on the bus. I went to sleep as soon as the wheels starting moving. There definitely were days when I didn't think I was going to make it. I was so tired that I literally thought I could nap standing up. People have fallen asleep during stretch block in the morning. My favorite saying my rookie year was, "This day will end." I keep that mantra here in the city. No matter how bad my day is eventually it will end. Eventually, I will wake up in the morning with a fresh start and another opportunity to make it better. Thankfully, I'm not aging out of work anytime soon. I have plenty of time to make it better.
Becky Novac currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., and works for Universal McCann in New York City as an assistant media planner. She is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in journalism and psychology. Becky marched with the Bluecoats in 2000, 2002 and 2004 as a member of the color guard.