Picking up the Pieces
by, 9th July 2011 at 12:24 AM (245 Views)
Damn, it's been awhile since I've been here. I gotta say, this place has changed.
Well, it seems my last blog post here was at the beginning of the school year... And here I am, about a month from the last day. And I gotta tell ya, that year's been one hell of a violent ride. Prepare for a very long entry.
As you all know, my first day started out hilariously bad, topped off with my laptop battery exploding in the tech guy's hand. That's still funny to me, even if it was bad luck on my shoulders. Little did I know that year was only going to get rockier... But really, I feel it has made me stronger as a person.
The beginning of the year started out rather average, if you'll ignore my bad luck on the first day. It always does. It was rather boring, actually, as most of my classes took close to zero effort. Band was excellent, as it always is. I looked forward to it every day- I love music, and I loved helping the freshmen... Well, the ones that weren't complete assholes. It felt good to be respected and to be seen as a leader. Everything I'd worked hard for was starting to be rewarded... And I began to feel like I had finally started earning acceptance from my own class, which has ostracized me since I moved here when I was younger.
unfortunately, that hard work seemed to be spat back right in my face come state marching band competition. We qualified, but ended up getting a poor score in the end. Probably because of a lack of drive in much of the class and a lack of full practices thanks to the schedule conflicts that arose due to the counselors' incompetence.
Things perked back up though... We ended up getting a new dog- a shih-tzu named Bodicea, or Kai for short. She's brought a lot of joy to the household, a lot of energy that has just been missing.
In addition, I ended up making it into the Wind Ensemble for band, and even scored a superior rating in a solo I did in an independent contest.
Then, around the second half of the school year, things started to go downhill again... With the announcement of the declining health and retirement of a great man, one I have looked up to not only as an amazing teacher and mentor, but as a second father for the past seven years- Mr. Tom O'Shaughnessy, assistant band director of the Perkins High School marching band for 31 years.
Mr. O's vision has been declining for the past few years and he's had to have several surgeries because of this. His health has been declining to the point where he needed to retire. This was and still is quite a great personal blow for me, and I'm tearing up as I type this. He was a great man and amazing mentor... And one of the greatest inspirations for everything I do. He and Mr. Kustec are two people who have helped me realize what all I was capable of and helped to give me the strength to pursue whatever I wanted, no matter what roadblocks got in the way. And to know he's not going to be there... It's tough. But I know even if he won't really be in my life anymore... I still have his strength and support. On one of his very last days, I told him just how much he, Mr. Kustec, and overall the band have done for me... They helped give me the strength to give my all in everything, helped me go on living, helped me realize I wasn't alone. And the program helped me realize my dream- I want to give the same experience to others, be that person that inspires others. I wanted to teach music. And what he told me that night is going to stay with me. He told me that out of everyone in the 2013 class, I had the drive, the talent, and the passion to have that dream realized.
But that came much later. From the moment his retirement was announced to the last day of school, things went downhill. Tensions at school rose, and I started struggling with my parents a bit over academics... My mother keeps trying to corner me into a medical profession. This, followed by illnesses and deaths in the family, a nasty legal battle involving my aunt, hospitalization of a family friend who is like a brother to me, and social struggles... Things became too much, and started regressing back into psychotic tendencies that I thought had been overcome years ago. Anger flares, self-destructive actions such as forcing myself to bleed and peeling off nails...
At one point, when I learned that I started showing signs of cancer... I actually started planning to kill myself.
But that's when I realized that I needed help. I ended up getting diagnosed with severe clinical depression, and have started taking anti-depressants and seeing a therapist. I have yet to get test results back on the cancer thing.
However, this year has opened up my eyes. No matter how shattered and broken I get, that's life. I've got to pick up the pieces, pull myself together and keep pushing forward. And when my own strength isn't enough, I know I've got the support of others who care about me. But I've got to walk on my own two legs. And if I want to be a leader that everyone can look up to, I've got to keep striving forward and be the best I can possibly be. Because no one decides my future but me.
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