Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Defined Answer

This is my answer. I was very excited about graduate school. I was even planning on saving for an A Clarinet and getting in connection with the professors. It seemed like everything I ever wanted.
But I notice something: I am getting tired and burnt out. I love school, but the idea of having to take more classes and having to write a thesis is really gross to me. I am tired of it. Not that I'm lazy, but I'm just tired. I wasn't going to be 100% into it.

I was freaking out. I wanted to perform. It was all I wanted. And I noticed something: I would have a hard time getting hired after my grad degree. I would truly be a "starving artist." And something didn't settle right with me after I left. I was extremely impressed with University of Oregon's music department and their programs, but I had a strange nudge that was doubtful. Something wasn't right.

I began to think of no solutions. I wanted to perform.

I wasn't entirely sure when it hit me. I knew it was another choice in case grad school didn't work out. Veterans day came and went, and I started to develop my doubts about graduate school. I got a lot of mixed feedback about joining the military band, but I felt strangely pulled to it. I decided to talk to my uncle Karl, who is in active duty in the navy. He had told me to audition before joining the branch. Or any branch for that matter. It was on my mind consistently. After a couple of days, I went to go talk to Pat about my career choices and he randomly handed me this brochure about the marine band. I was extremely surprised, and took it without question. It was all strangely eerie to me, though.
Another day later, I went to listen to the navy band on youtube and I clicked on Maslanka's fourth symphony and it was SPECTACULAR. Now, this really captured me when I started learning the music. And I felt like time had frozen, and I had an epiphany. Maybe I was suppose to be part of this kind of band? The idea put my worry at ease and I took note of it: I was suppose to be in a military band. It was what I wanted. Paid full time to be part of a military branch and play music?  I wanted it.
The branch I chose, after much consideration and talking to recruiters is the Marines. I went to call the local recruiter in Beaverton, and he was kind and took out time and effort to talk with me for a couple of hours. (I'm well away that that is their job--to convince) He and I talked about service and being a marine along with being a musician.
I knew it was what I wanted. I passed the first set of questions and assessment. I also found out I am twenty pounds over the mark to be sent to basic training in, but the recruiter offered to train me and help me keep my diet in tact (said to cut down on sugars). I wanted to be in this band. I still do. The passing score in playing is a 2.7, and if I pass, I'm guaranteed a spot in one of the marine bands. 3.0, I would get to choose where I was based and which band I played with. On top of this all is the idea of serving. I want to make a big difference, and I know it's what I want. I plan on leaving in June.

I will be a Marine.
And I will remain a musician.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh, more school? Maybe? This just seems like TREBLE.

Now that I got your attention with an awful music pun, there has been a major change in my life.

Well, it's not emotional, it's more career.

I went to Eugene with Jonathan on Thursday, last week. I was checking out the graduate program, meeting the clarinet instructor, and checking out the school itself. In case you're still confused, it is University of Oregon. There's a picture in case you're still confused.

Now, I came from a mediocre music program at best, with no private training (I didn't know it existed), with a plastic Bb Bundy clarinet. I played on 4 reeds, had a beginner mouthpiece, didn't know what solo contests were, didn't know All State existed, didn't know anything, really.

George Fox University turned my life completely around. I found out that I didn't even tongue. I had awful reeds, my clarinet was worthless, my embouchure was wrong, completely (I played with an oboe embouchure), my hands were stiff, my tone was edgy, and I was clueless entirely. Until I was whipped into shape. My instructor, despite our strained relationship, turned me from a weak, non-existant player, to what I am now. She broke all (that I know of) of my bad habits, taught me how to play and caught me up to the level I needed to be for advanced undergraduate. I bought a professional clarinet, mouthpiece, and improved my reeds, while expanding my repertoire. At first, I was thoroughly discouraged. Why would I be a performer? It's what I originally wanted. But I felt like there was no way to catch up. But I still loved music, so I inherited Music Education into my major, creating a double major.

Last spring, Pat decided to send Alyssa (a bassoon player) and I to the CBDNA conference. We were to play with the intercollegiate honor band. I felt excited. This was the first collective band I had played in (keep in mind, I didn't know All State existed until college). Let me tell you, I was HUMBLED. These players were GOOD. I was fifteenth chair out of twenty(secretly amused I beat Linfield), and the first chair was spectacular. In fact, his intensity scared me a little. I wanted to be like him, but I felt like all hope was lost.

On the last day, the director asked us to raise our hands to which major we were. I realized I was the only third that was performance, and I was even further discouraged from performing itself. Until he said what I didn't expect. This was what changed me forever.

"If you want to perform, perform! Don't just sit around and watch other people do it. Some people start at different levels. Some will take more work, some will take less, but if you work hard enough, you will eventually get there. Don't sell yourself short."

I sat there stunned. I had convinced myself in three years that I wasn't worth it. I loved teaching, but I LOVED performing. The high, the love, the fact I could influence, and the way I understood the music. I felt my eyes tear up, and I felt like, in a way, he was speaking directly to me. I wanted to perform. Why did I tell myself I couldn't?

So, after that weekend, I focused on performing. And I realized that I wanted to go to grad school. University of Oregon wasn't even on my list of options until a professor mentioned graduating from there and the good program it had.

Again, I was stunned when I arrived. There were 15 clarinet majors. Only 2 here at Fox. And these were amazing players. But I only felt driven at that point.

I told the instructor that I would do anything to be the best and I noticed that I was echoing the same words I had spoken to Pat Vandehey when I auditioned for the George Fox band. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to perform. I still want to be the best and perform, and I felt myself tearing up while talking to the clarinet instructor at U of O last week. I was conveying my heart, much like I had during my GFU audition. It was all I wanted. To perform and be the best. It was strange how, even though I myself have changed immensely, that the love and drive has not changed. It may have been widened due to teaching, but it has stayed with me for four years.

After all this time, since I have started this blog, I can honestly say that that will never change.

In a sense, not changing is also a strange thing, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life flashing before your eyes.

I never thought I would be confronted with such a thought.

Monday night, at about 10:15, I was in a severe car accident. I was driving 219, the curved back road back to my home in Beaverton. The roads were slick and I remember I was going about 35 mph on a suggested 30 mph curve, the speed limit actually 55 mph.

I lost control of the car, causing my car to slam into a tree (the passenger side), the back of the passenger side pushed, the momentum causing my car to flip twice, landing on it's back. I was extremely disoriented and felt immediately freaked out (of course, I had extreme amounts of adrenaline). The first thing I thought of was, "I gotta turn off this car, or it could catch fire" and followed by "how the hell do I get out of here??" I had a hard time breathing because of shock. Somehow, I had found my seatbelt, unbuckled it, found the door and despite the smashed state, I opened it, crawling out. The key had slid out of the ignition (it had done that before, it was just a flaw, as it ran just fine), so while shaking severely, I hunted down the key, turned off the car and had a hard time standing, because I felt so dizzy and the shaking was not, in any way, helping. I dragged my things out of the car, and tried to call Jonathan. I left a thirty second voicemail of me screaming. I wasn't sure what to do, say, or think. I just kept yelling "help." I wasn't aware it had gone to voicemail.
When I realized no one was about to pick up anytime soon, I decided to flag someone down. I held onto the car for support and began to feel aches in my legs, nose, neck, and lip. The second person stopped his car and made a call to 911. Then it hit me: I almost died. I had come inches away from death. I began to hyperventilate, because I felt like my lungs had closed off. Tears formed in my eyes and I couldn't stop sobbing. I couldn't believe I was alive. It was at that point that a bus of kids stopped and two coaches stepped out to see if everything was okay. They stayed with me until the EMT arrived (which was quick, considering it had only been 10 minutes). I still had no ability to discontinue my crying.
When the fireman talked to me, he calmed me down and asked if anything had hurt. My neck hurt the most. I told him, and he said that he wanted to send me to the hospital because any kind of spinal damage could really hurt me in the long run. So, I was sent to the hospital after being strapped onto a board. At this time, a cop was talking to me, picking to see if I had done anything against the law. He asked me if I had been speeding: I said no, I was going twenty under. Drinking? I said no, I had come back from Fox. When he found out I was from George Fox, he put his citation pad away quickly. Apparently, we have great reputation, even with the police department. He only wanted my information to take a report.
I arrived at St. Vincents and spent about 2 1/2 hours in the hospital, they checked me over making sure I had no permanent damage or bleeding. Surprisingly enough, I had no lasting damage. The worse was to my neck: I had strained it from whiplash. I didn't have any bruising from the seat belt, no bleeding, no concussion, and the only things I had bruised was a small part of my nose, my shins, and a part of my wrist. A very small bruise. They told me I would be sore for a few days, and to take it easy, also stating that the seatbelt had saved my life. I cried again, more out of shock, because I still couldn't believe I was alive. Jonathan had arrived at the hospital, and his eyes were red from crying. He couldn't believe it and was so relieved I was alive.

I was alive.

I realize that that night, I was spared from death. The Lord was really watching over me. That I happened to land on the only patch of concrete in the entire back road. That I happened to have a stuck seatbelt that stayed firm. That I happened to walk out and go to school on Wednesday/Thursday.

I saw death before my eyes. I was spared by the Lord.

This was my Monday night.

I didn't see my life flashing before my eyes, but it was definitely a moment where I was spared from death.

Praise God.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Questions and Answers

A lot has been on my mind in the past few weeks. These things generally:
  • Children
  • Disease
  • Sociopathy
  • Love
  • Addictions
  • Pain
  • Pursuing dreams
  • Career

All to say, I think I'm going to give a short summary to all of these, and don't worry, they're all connected. I just think I'll start at the top.

Ever since I left home, I've been the type to think I would have kids later. I'm starting to think that maybe I won't. I don't think I could handle it. I wouldn't have the guts to give up my life for a kid. I want to teach, yes. But not have my own kids. I really have a major fear that I will pass down Muscular Dystrophy to my future kids (which really scares the ever-loving hell out of me) and I couldn't do what my mother does and stays home with my baby brother, Josiah. I couldn't stay home with my kid. I feel extremely selfish, but I feel like this is a legit fear. This is where the thoughts of disease plays in. I'm basically a breeding ground for disease. I have bad skin, have chances at 3 different types of cancers, I currently have high blood pressure, diabetes risk, fatigued, asthma, bad joints, bad eyesight, PCOS, MD carrier, malignant hyperthermia (which is connected to MD), I had childhood epilepsy and social issues, as well as an auditory dyslexia problem (which I still occasionally deal with). I just have bad health all around. Oh, and I struggle with weight. I just don't want to pass any of that to my future kids. At all. So I should probably not have them. Just as a safety mechanism.

Speaking of not wanting kids.

I've been looking up sociopathy because I have tendencies toward it. And it's kinda unnerving that some days, I could care less about how a person feels, as long as I get what I want and do anything to get to it. I'm not a sociopath. I care too much about others and what they think. I just have tendencies and will occasionally display signs of it. I'm currently writing a novel about a male with two different personalities, the human good side and the demon side. The demon, is a sociopath. I have a friend who told me that I wrote too naturally as a sociopath. Said I sounded like I lived it. That made me a tad nervous. Sociopathy is generally not a good thing to society.

This leads to love.

I wonder what it takes for someone to love unconditionally. Just a thoughtful question. God? Good experiences? I know the obvious Christian answer. But what about a philosophical one?

Anywho . . .

I know people who struggle with love addiction. I'm not one of them. I will gladly love and accept love naturally and not obsessively. But when I was talking to the counselor, I realized I have an addictive personality. To cope, I become a workaholic. Or I eat too much. Or I find something else to binge on. Luckily, I have some amounts of common sense, so I stop when I realize it's getting unhealthy (it's probably why I'm not a drug addict). But then I latch to something else. Yet another thing to work through, I suppose. Most of this is result of pain I didn't deal with until now. My issues of my past have leaked out in many ways, and addictions are one of many ways I've mentally coped. I know that when I work through, I will still have my dreams and drive, but it won't be so unhealthy to the point of exhaustion.

My career path totally changed this last week. I still want to be a teacher and I only have one year of school left. Might as well get my music education degree. However, I really want to be a performer. I had many arrows in Reno point me to performing. And so, once I confirmed it with myself, I upped the practice, I'm currently raising money for a new instrument, and I am meeting with the instructor at PSU in two weeks to take a lesson from her and get more information about their masters in performance. I just want to perform. Endless hours of rehearsal actually appeal to me. Very few actually like that. And few would put in the hours of practice. I want to. It seems like the right choice. However, I've accepted the fact I will never have money. Musicians are poor as hell. :P

But this is a summary of my thoughts. Penny for yours? ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another 90 Degree Angle.

Another change, yet again has taken place.

Of course this reflects my blog name. This blog is about tracking the process of change, am I right? Well, I've been seeing a therapist (and quite frankly, I think everyone should, because everyone has something they're carrying around). And I've recovered some memories of my childhood that one should not remember. Quite frankly, I was glad my mind decided to block it out till now, because it's something I wouldn't've handled well until about now, anyway.

So, this memory is a huge root of all my insecurities, issues, and my mental and emotional state. It was a shock and almost painful to remember such a thing. I had only remembered the memory around it, but not the event itself. The counselor was asking simple questions, and when I remembered it, it was a shock.

All this to say, ever since I had remembered, I feel sad for what happened. But. . . lighter. Like my subconscious was leaking, and now, since I know wha
t is going on, I can patch it up. My moods and my thoughts have improved. Instead of feeling supremely pissed at situations, I feel only irritated. Instead of having downward spirals in thoughts, I have a step downstairs and I step back up. It was amazing how different I felt and continue to feel.

It was when I realized that I probably had a few other things in my childhood that was blocked in my mind, and a lot of my deep rooted issues was in these situations, and I think it was a memory block that keeps these locked away out of protection for my previous mental state. But now, since the blocks are becoming a negative force, I have to find them and push them out of the way.

Out of this I really feel like the tattoo I'm getting tomorrow is appropriate. Here is the design:
The font will be much more formal, and the tattoo artist is tweaking it to make it more symmetrical.

This tattoo symbolizes that even in the dark times, even when I have nothing left, the Lord is always there and he is to be given glory to. He is my light.

"19 The sun shall be no more your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon give you light;
but the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
20 Your sun shall no more go down,
nor your moon withdraw itself;
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning shall be ended."
--Isaiah 60:19-20

It is so weird that all of this should come together when I have this inspiration of a design. I believe my body is the temple of the Lord. The temple is unique, and I think that if I have a permanent marking, it should glorify God, because I am a temple. So, this marking is very important to me. It marks a new turn, just as the one on my ankle does. :)

20 It

So overall, now, I feel like I have a path and a direction when it comes to positive change. This will be painful for a while, but I know overall, it will help me become the person I was born to be.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Masculine and Feminine Traits: Are they legit, or are they just society produced?

This is something I've always questioned.

I grew up with a sense of being a Tomboy. I was very sensitive, but I wanted to spit, play in dirt, play outside, and be tough like a boy. I remember that very well. Until middle school, which ensued and awkward phase of wanting to be feminine. I wanted to be girly so the boys would notice me. Like every middle school girl. Then high school, where I went through about 10 different phases and ended up like a "jock", letting myself become consumed with my letterman, swimming and sweatpants. It was pretty masculine, the way I dressed and acted.

In college, I took on the primary identity of a musician, and I haven't looked back since. I became almost a combo of masculine and feminine. But now I wonder what the real definitions of these are? So I looked up each definition in the dictionary and found:

  • Masculine
Mas-kyuh-lin, adjective:
Having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness.
  • Feminine
Fem-uh-nin, adjective:
Having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness.

I felt strange when I read these. I knew what I was getting myself into. My mother use to joke that I would have the perfect personality to be a male. Driven, determined, strong, bold. But I have less traits of feminine as a female, like this gentle, quiet, and nearly submissive role. I want to push those traits away. I don't think it would make sense to waste my personality and down what traits God gave me to please society or any labels. Luckily, we live in a world were the labels and the lines are starting to blur, so now, it is less of a taboo to think of myself more masculine.

Don't get me wrong, folks, I'm well aware I'm female, and inward, I'm a female. I'm a woman, I accept. I'm not a transsexual. But to be forced with a label that implies that I'm the opposite of strong really frustrates me. Sure, there's exceptions to the rules. Women have shown that they can be strong, yet sensitive and gentle. I will dress "woman-like" in professional situations, like working in an office or observing in a classroom to appear "conservative" and older, or because it makes me appear less like a marshmallow. Occasionally I do enjoy the feminine things. However, in how I act and think, it tends to be more male. In a novel I'm currently working on, I'm writing as a first person male. And I've had people tell me that the way I write makes it sound like a man is writing it.

Why are some people in society still against women taking on the male role? What is wrong with a working mother and stay at home father? I see nothing wrong with it. Some people just don't like change. The church especially. I still see myself as part of the body of Christ, but not the physical church. Church frustrates me to no end. Every time I go, I'm always asked about a male. Or I'm told the same message of: women are to be submissive. What about the passage of men to also be submissive? I don't understand. Why must I bow to a male figure? And on top of this, I've been told that "no, it's not like that, they just have their roles." Right, nice politically correct way to put it. What about people like me who are good for masculine roles and leadership? Why, because I am biologically female, must I get married, have a bunch of babies, be a housewife, and submissive? I don't understand this logic! I am both masculine and feminine. But I tend to lean masculine.

This post was a bit disorganized, because my head is a bit disorganized. But you get my drift.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My true love and hobby outside of others.

So, this post will be about music, because it's what I've been able to sort out first.

My life is all about music. I've always loved to dance and sing when I was a child. At the age of 11, I joined beginner band, and fell in love with my Clarinet. I hated being in classes and the children hated me. But band and playing my Clarinet was my escape. I was able to immerse myself in the music.

I had three middle school band directors in each grade, so I never had the privilege of a single director. At the beginning of 7th grade, I moved from a huge middle school to a small back-country middle school. I remember their exact names: 6th grade, Matt Whitehead; 7th grade, David Church; 8th grade, Roger Wilhite. The two I remember the most are my 6th and 8th grade teachers. Mr. Whitehead instilled good habits of posture and encouraged me in the high register. I was the first player in 6th grade over the break, and I remember his smile and praise when I did it. It made me want to play more and more. 7th grade was an awkward transition year, as I had moved schools and my mother had remarried. I don't remember much about that. 8th grade, Mr. Wilhite was the biggest encouragement I ever had. He always told me I was talented, pulled me aside to tell me I was a hard worker and that I would succeed. He is the real reason why I continued onto music. He treated me with respect and even today, when he runs into me says, "Well hello Miss Kingsbury! You still playing that Clarinet??" And I can't help but grin. He doesn't know, but he changed my life for the better.

High school, I wasn't so fortunate. I decided in middle school that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and that I'd be a performer. But my director never supported me. Never told me about All State, or how to get better. He never encouraged me. Even told me one day that I was "too intense" and needed to tone it down. I was never his favorite, because I cared too much. I know that's hard to believe, but it was true. I loved music, and a lot of my fire was doused by his indifference and mean sense of humor. He had a temper. The only thing that kept me going was my love for my instrument and my 8th grade director. If it wasn't for my natural love, I would have quit. Plain and simple. He once told people that my brother wasn't talented and was a show off and gossiped like a school girl. My brother has more talent in his pinky than me or my stupid high school director. He never practiced and sounded glorious. He took up percussion in high school, stepped up to the plate, and the director still treated my brother like shit. My brother is the type if you discourage him in such a way, he will become indifferent and quit. HE IS BEYOND TALENTED. I envy him every day and wish I had his talent and abilities. And this man, because he was a douche, caused my brother to discontinue (he still wants to minor in music and play some, but he could've become a major! OR a performer for all we know). Ever since I've taken secondary methods, I've realized that my high school director did everything you never do in a high school classroom. Like play favorites. Or being passive aggressive. Or letting students conduct. Or being late. Or lazy.

In college, I was hit hard with shock. I was take under the wing of Pat Vandehey, which everyone who's everyone knows of him. He's a "legend" director. I was below ability of what I should've been. But I wanted to be the best and I knew it was all I wanted to do. I told him that, and because of my drive and spirit, I was granted a scholarship. In all reality, I should have never had the money. But Pat believed in me. And this band was spectacular.

Let's put it like this. The warm up note gave me chills. THE WARM UP NOTE. I'm not entirely sure if that's because my high school band was that crappy or the band was that good. But I was immediately stricken and it was confirmed that it was what I wanted to do.

Anyway. I came in with no private experience. No soloing abilities. No confidence. Nothing. My clarinet was my only friend. My parents tried to buy me a new clarinet, but it was not a good instrument. Pat helped me get an intermediate clarinet. The first year, my freshman year, I cried a lot. I didn't realized how bad I was. I was afraid. But my instructor began to build on me. During this time, I decided I wanted to become a band director. I wanted to be that influence on adolescents and the love of music in such a way that I didn't have to have people like my high school band director discourage the potential.

My sophomore year, I jumped in ability and even managed to pass upper division. I observed a high school classroom and had an "ah-hah!" moment. It was confirmed that I wanted to conduct and be the band director. I was placed in first chair of the band (and I'm sure I wasn't ready for it). I was able to play a high solo by the end of the year and earn my spot as principle.

Now, I'm currently in my junior year. My love for music is more than I can share. I had a half recital of music, playing a concerto and two sonatas. I loved every minute of performing (not so much the before prep). The issue with me is, I can't rehearse well at all. But I perform much better, so my instructor was having heart attacks quite frequently. I passed my recital hearing (but barely). The recital confirmed how much I loved performing. So I kept my performance major with my education major. Now, I'm working with my great section for a major work and I'm excited. I'm excited of what I can do to inspire others.

I have a full recital coming up, with over an hour of music. I have one more year of college. I'm saving up for a professional instrument.

And now, more than ever, even after all of the obstacles, music is my life.

I can't imagine my life any different.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A 180 degree angle.

My life is always changing. But lately, it's gotten even stranger.

I thought I knew what I believed and that I had a good grasp on life, however, I didn't.

I have so much in my head that I want to say, but there are individuals who would not understand my transformation. In fact, I sense a lot of lectures and judgments that would be sent my way if I were to even address such thoughts.

I love my instrument, and I figured that I do really want to be a performer, which would be spectacular. However, I'm not up to the level I'd have to be at. I'm not good enough. I am saving up for an instrument, however. x) I only need $1,700 more for a new instrument. I already have $1,000 saved up. It will improve my tone quality by about a 100%.

My entire view of the church and sexuality has changed. That is another story for another time. I'm just stating it.

I have too much in my head. I shall update about these other things when I can sort them out! :o

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 is CRAZAAAY.

Happy new year, my kind blog followers and all others! :D

This will be an intense year. I will be starting my senior year of college and it will be the year of many career decisions. Grad school, career apps and others will be well in my future. I have another recital coming up in about ten months with band music for two semesters, orchestra music, and individual solo music for this coming semester ALONG with the hour of recital music. I will hopefully have passed piano proficiency. This semester is where it all ends and everything will begin.

My roommate, Vicky, is getting married this summer. So are my friends (and together! :) ) Jessica and Peter. There are like ten couples but those are the two that come to mind. This is the year of many changes.

Presidential election is coming up. Our country's future is decided. EVERYTHING happens this year! Oh, and summer olympics are coming too, I love the olympics. In London, BABY! Favorite events: swimming, diving, water polo, track and field, and gymnastics. I know you're all freaking excited as much as me.

2012 is a crazy awesome year.

I also found myself sick of myself. I have much support around me, but I found I never supported myself. I have one goal: to finish a marathon, with guns a-blazing.

I have other goals, like finishing two triathlons and two 5ks. Those are my small goals. But I want to have the fighting mind. I know once I have that mind, I will win. I will succeed. But something is holding me back. I found this quote on a website for how to train for marathons and it really encouraged me!

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tire in the morning, noon, and night. But the bod y is never tired if the mind is not tired."
-George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Amen, right??

This applies to me especially. I need to learn how to fight, and I do fight. But not as hard as I can.

2012. Hell yeah, what a god year this will be. :)