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