If your a cappella group is JD, who is (or what) is your Elliot?

Not So Different

One of my all-time favorite TV romances is that between Scrubs characters JD and Elliot. Sure, there’s a taste of the Ross and Rachel on-again-off-again nonsense, but rather than the mind-numbing drama-for-drama’s sake that plagued the signature romance of Friends, when it came to JD and Elliot, I always got the sense that the two of them were in the process of figuring out who they were as people and just kept missing their right moment until late in the show’s run.

Life is full of decisions. While I rarely blog on the topic of my personal life, I will not here that one of the most profound decisions I’ve ever made came in my early 20s when I left the girlfriend I had loved for four years for the new girl in my life whom I thought I could love more. A month later, that new relationship, too, was over.

But note how I phrased that—as a profound decision. It wasn’t necessarily good, and it wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was certainly impactful and it was a choice. Had I stuck it out with girl A, rather than moving to girl B, would I have broken up with her later anyway? Or would she have eventually tired of me? Or would we *gulp* be married? We don’t have the chance to know where any variation on any decision we make might lead, but we do have the power to make reasoned decisions in our own lives.

On Scrubs, JD and Elliot try a relationship and end up at each others’ throats. They try to be casual, but JD can’t keep his feelings at bay. They get together for real, and JD’s fear of commitment sends him running for the hills. Years pass before they try again. But when they do try again, the doctor duo winds up in it for the long haul.

When it comes to your a cappella group, it’s important to try different things, especially when the group is in its formative stages. You might find that the group has a real niche for connecting with audiences at community events, or that you enjoy the fruits of your labor coming out of the studio, or that you have the creativity to become a YouTube sensation, or that the group can only truly focus and come together when the members know they’re going to perform in front of judges in a competition.

Once you’re done dabbling, it’s time to commit. For JD, this meant moving between characters played by Amy Smart, Tara Reid, Mandy Moore, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Smart, and others before his inner spinner landed back on Sarah Chalke’s Elliot at the right time, when things fit correctly for the both of them to be together in a meaningful way.

Experiment and enjoy your group’s formation or rebuilding periods. Then, when the time comes, be prepared to commit to your group’s future.