Monday night, the Bethune CI Music Department hosted their annual spring concert. This year, I was involved with a lot more ensemble performances than I was ever before. Playing for the stage band, stage band + jazz choir combo, wind ensemble, and the combined choir with the wind ensemble, I felt quite productive. Particularly, in the section for the stage band and jazz choir, I could hear myself as I was not drowned out by my section mates (they tend to have a more prominent and louder sound). It was a moment where I could be seen beaming with pride even if it was probably the piece I played the most poorly out of them all. But it didn’t matter, it was my piece and my moment to shine.
Tuesday, I was back at Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehab for an appointment with my speech therapist and a social worker. There, I played for them my TEDxTalk and discussed some of the successes at school in terms of my summatives and the fundraising for my 5k run with the Brain Tumour Foundation. They all seemed so proud and amazed. For a regular person they thought it was already amazing, but to be able to do this starting from the position I was in, it seems even crazier.
Today (Wednesday), I showed a teacher that missed the because he was not there the day of, and finally asked my English teacher for some feedback about it as well. Later, I went back to my elementary school to visit some of the teachers I missed the last time I went back. The combination of all these things together that made really made me realize and put together all the events of this year. Bunched together, it seems like such a quick and miraculous journey. But living through it, it felt like a long and almost treacherous path to go through. However, the effort exerted matches the final outcome. For the amount of work and effort I put into this, I shouldn’t be surprised that I am where I am now.
Just like my music teacher, Mr. Sylvester, says, “they leave (graduate) just when they get interesting”. And it’s true, we always leave just when we feel like we finally belong to the school. Once we feel comfortable, our personalities seem to flourish and always at that moment, we have to leave. For me, I will have that extra year to continue to get more interesting, but as all my friends continue to talk about their university plans, I can’t help but feel trapped. Today, we also discussed the executive team for DECA next year. And as I looked at the board of names we selected for the team, I feel like it is starting to feel doable – being able to survive and continue on without my friends (for the last 14 years for some and at least the last 3/4 for others). The reality of having to work with people I don’t really know seems more and more possible. It’s difficult for me to remember all the things that have happened, and it always feels like it was just yesterday OR it feels like it was YEARS ago. Always, I fail to realize that highschool is supposedly only 4 years and things that seem a long time ago were really just last year or a couple months back. Looking at the bigger picture, we (the grade 12s) have all grown dramatically. Maybe not to who we exactly expected ourselves to be, but I think whatever changes we have made to ourselves may be even better than what we expected.
I guess the goal of this blog was not the brag about everything that I’ve done well, but to somehow help people realize that it’s so easy to lose track of your own progress. You may get so caught up in the small picture that you lose sense of how you are doing as a whole. Photography and documentation is such a great thing. It can help you remember and somehow keep alive that feeling of the event that you capture. Although there are some things that are better left untouched, there’s always some sort of benefit of at least saving and capturing that moment to be able to decide later on. Just as I have been doing with my blogs.
Fortunately/unfortunately, this won’t be my Finale. I still have one more year to do all the things that I missed this year. To be the DECA (co)-president that I was meant to be, to complete the infamous advanced functions and calculus, to go through the application process to universities, to catch up on some of the leadership opportunities I’ve missed, and to just catch up on things in general to help make myself even more interesting.
My dad once told me that he learnt how to swim being thrown into the water, and that is kind of similar to what has happened to me. I was thrown into this terrible situation, but I’ve learnt how to cope with it and somehow end up even better than I could have imagined. There may have been a better way to go about it to get to a similar result, but I think there’s still some aspect of it that’s unique to go through a traumatic experience like this. This will not be my last post as a goodbye to all my friends that are graduating to new opportunities, but it’s a start. There are not enough words to thank them, or my teachers in all my years of school (which I will likely write a post on next year).
But all I can say now is thank you. You know who you are: those that has helped me in the hospital, in rehab, transitioning back to school, and my peers and mentors that have helped me try to find myself in general. It’s because of you that I am who I am now. And although I am one that enjoys to take credit, I gotta share it when the credit is due.
PS: The title of this blog is based on one of the pieces we played at the concert -Mahler Symphony No.1 Mvt.4 (Finale)! How convenient is that!