Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's about that time... Time for a reflection post. So here goes. A year ago today... Wow, it seems like a lifetime ago. And really, it is a lifetime ago. My life was completely different then than it is now. Two years ago today? Shit... two completely different lives ago. I can't believe how different my life is. When I was younger I used to imagine what my life would be like when I got older. Usually it was only a year or two in advance, but once I graduated high school and started getting involved with independent drumlines, I always imagined a life filled with drumline and drum corps and nothing else. I imagined myself auditioning for somewhere great, making it, moving somewhere for that drumline and leaving all the bullshit of Arizona behind. I would always imagine the friends I would make, the relationships I would have, the person I would be. And then I would get up, go to rehearsal of the drumline I was actually in, see all the people I hated, and think I would never be able to make my dreams a reality. But somehow... I did. This past year has been a dream. From the Pulse audition, to the rehearsals every sunday that I had to drive out to California every weekend for. Moving to California and living with grandparents to be closer to group. Making friends that I always wished I had in my life. Trying new things that I never would have felt comfortable doing anywhere else or with anyone else. Everything... was just how I imagined it to be, if not better. Sure, there were some downer moments throughout the season. Or for me I guess it was all after the season ended... But I made it through. The thing that saved me? Drum corps. I never really knew a lot about drum corps. I dreamt about maybe someday marching, but had no idea where to go and how to go about doing it. I let my cymbal tech talk me into marching with the Sacramento Mandarins. This... was the hardest experience of my life. Both physically and emotionally draining, I've never felt so tired in my life. I had a ton of fun and tried to keep a positive attitude for most of the season, but I'll admit, there were a lot of days where all I wanted to do was go home. There were days where I let it get to me, where I thought too much about my family and let myself get bored with the show. But I pushed through, rubbed some dirt on it, and kept going, all the way to the very end. I won't lie, when I got home it wasn't as emotional as when I got home from Dayton. I think mostly because I know I'm going to see most of the drumline at Pulse auditions. But I didn't have as strong of a connection with Mandarins as a corps like I did with Pulse as a drumline. There was a lot that bothered me throughout the season. Even at my lowest points throughout the season when I was dirt tired and my body was sore from head to toe and I really just wanted to go home, I still maxed everything out to the best of my ability. Even when I was complaining that my arms hurt or that I missed my mom, I still tried my hardest. I guess that's something I got used to at Pulse... Everyone trying all the time, never taking a rep off. But at Mandarins... It's just not the same. Not everyone has the same mentality, and that makes it really hard to miss being there once I was gone. At the end of the day though, I can say that I survived my first summer of drum corps. I did learn a lot from the season. Mostly about how to push myself. I learned a lot about sound quality and marching technique. I feel like a better cymbal player after this season and I'm really glad I did it. I got an award from Dave this season. And it came at a time where I actually felt like I wasn't really getting better as a cymbal player. I feel bad because as he was announcing the award to us we were restrapping our new cymbals and I really wasn't paying that much attention to him. I really figured that he wouldn't give it to me... I had been noticing how much he called me out on things and how little he told me I was doing well. He would tell me after shows in the lot when we were by ourselves that I was doing well, but I rarely ever heard it during rehearsal. So for some reason, I just really thought he was going to give it to someone else. I remember him saying that the person who got the award can't be bullshit and something about the future... About how this was just the beginning or something... I can't really remember. But then he said my name, and everything I'd been through just seemed worth it. Not just that summer, but my entire cymbal playing career. I sat there and thought about all of the people who told me I couldn't do this. Who ever said I wasn't a good cymbal player. Who ever told me or even thought to themselves that I wouldn't make it anywhere. I wish I could say that I thought nice things about these people... But I didn't. I mostly thought, "Fuck you, I did it." The last person I said bye to at the airport was Vyvian. She was probably my most favorite person to be around this summer. I miss her like crazy and I'm sad that I don't get to see her everyday anymore. Saying bye to her made the end of the season feel more real. She's said that after this season she doesn't want to march drum corps anymore and she doesn't want to play cymbals again... But I really hope to be marching somewhere with her next summer, even if she doesn't play cymbals. Now that I'm home it feels like none of this happened. Except it had to have happened. I'm here in a room with all of my old things, things that used to mean the world to me, but now have little to no meaning at all. Things I used to look at and feel something... And now they're just things. Things that I'm not sure if I'd be sad about not having. Everything that has meaning to me is sitting in my car at my grandparents house, waiting for me to come get it. My body is completely different. I was reminded of the beginning of my journey when I went for a run on my old path... A year ago today I was running for a minute or two at a time, trying so hard to work my way up to 20 minutes of running at a time. I didn't know it then, but that might have been what saved me. If I hadn't had started running, who knows where i would be right now. I used to hate running... but now I can say that it's a regular part of my life. I don't fear it like I used to. I embrace it. I made it a goal to run at least once I week for the entire time I was 20. To be honest, I didn't succeed. There were some weeks I did not run. But that's not the point... I kept running in my life for the entire year. I changed my lifestyle to a healthier one. And I've never felt better about myself. Now my goals aren't to be able to run for 20 minutes, my goals are to have abs that everyone can see. Have toned muscles, be able to do 100 pushups. Because in reality, it's not that far away anymore :) I have about a month and a week left before Pulse auditions. I can't wait to be back. I can't wait for the season. I've heard of a few really good people wanting to audition for Pulse's cymbal line. It should be interesting to see how it plays out :) One thing I've learned this year... is why they call Dave, "Crazy" Asian Dave. But I can't wait to see what he has in store for Pulse 2013.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"When it comes you're not pushing it away, let it come, let it stay. When it goes you don't grieve. Oh, it's gone."

I can't believe today is finally here... I've experienced the last day of a season before, but it's never hit me quite as hard as this. Last year I was so happy the season was over. This year is the total opposite. I feel like my whole life was leading up to this season of drumline. I've grown so much as a cymbal player, performer, and person. After retreat my cymbal tech told me I was one of the best cymbal players in the world. I can't believe anyone would say that to me, let alone someone I consider to be one of the best cymbal players in the world. I don't want this season to be over. I don't really want to start a new season over again. If I could go back and change a few things I might, but I can't imagine being anywhere else. This past week didn't really go as expected, but it's been one of the best weeks of my life. I miss everyone so much.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I know I just posted something a few hours ago, but I just saw this on tumblr and I think it describes me perfectly. Or at least who I used to be. I hate change, yet I've pretty drastically changed my life multiple times in the past 3 years. I've made so many good friends and then just left them behind to do something else. And it's really bothered me.

I think I've finally found the place where I'm going to stay for the long run. I feel so happy and content here and the few friends I've made are people I don't want to leave behind. I'm making a life here for myself and I don't plan on changing it again for the next few years at least :)

Puuuulse :)

Can I just say that I absolutely love being in Pulse? This is the most I've ever learned from a group about playing cymbals, about performing, and about myself. I love everyone in the group and I love who I am when I'm there :)

I feel like my life is finally the way I thought it would be. I'm finally doing the things I wanted to do and accomplishing the things I wanted to accomplish.

2012 is finally going to be my year. A year filled with firsts and amazing memories. I'm so excited for my life right now, it's crazy <3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Just like the clouds floating by, they just come and go."

I realize this is kind of weird time to reflect on my life, but I don't really care. So here goes!

A year ago I had just moved home from Flagstaff. I won't go too much into detail about everything I learned and junk, but I feel like the year 2011 was a year of transformation and enlightenment. I moved home weighing... I don't even want to know how much. I made it my goal to become healthy and get in shape so I could make a world class drumline for the next season. I had no idea where to begin, and I honestly think that's the scariest part for most people. Being involved in a drumline I hated also made it really hard. Just as I was really getting serious during the weeks, we would go on a trip for drumline, and all I could afford was fast food. All of my progress during the weeks would be gone in a matter of 2 days and knowing that the drumline I was in wasn't even worth it made it even worse.

After the season ended (I honestly thought it never would) is when my progress really started to show. I lost 6 pounds in the first two weeks and was motivated more than ever to get healthy. All summer I went on like this, not being swayed by the junk food in my pantry or the fast food near work. I wasn't just on a diet, I was changing my life. I started running for the first time ever and realized it wasn't as bad as I always thought it was and that I actually had much better endurance than I thought I had.

I did have a few bad days in there, even a whole bad month when I lost most of my motivation. The realization that the drumline I was dead set on auditioning for was slightly out of reach and not really a smart idea really brought me down. I started distracting myself with things and I stopped working out as often. I'm not sure that I took any steps backwards necessarily, but I definitely wasn't stepping forward.

A few weeks before auditions I decided I would audition for Pulse. And to be honest, I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. On one hand, Pulse is amazing, the closest out of state drumline to home, and I thought I had a good chance. But on the other hand, it wasn't my dream drumline, so I felt conflicted. But about a week before auditions I somehow managed to get my motivation back, and I started feeling excited.

The day before, I was a complete wreck. I had no idea if I was making the right decision and I was scared shitless. I had no idea what to expect. But I got there, and I loved it. I had kind of a rocky start, but after three auditions, I was the last person to make the line.

And after that, everything became surreal. I couldn't believe I had accomplished one of my major life goals.

Every time I think I've learned all that I can learn from life, I'm always surprised by something new. And Pulse has definitely been something new. I thought I was done learning about cymbals and drumline. I thought there was nothing else a music program could teach me about life. But I was so wrong.

In the four months I've been in Pulse I've learned to appreciate what I have while I have it. I've learned that it's okay to express myself, and if people think I'm weird because of it, that's okay because in this drumline you stand out more for not performing than you do for over performing. I've learned so much more than this but to be honest, this isn't why I set out to write this blog...

About this time last year I weighed 174 pounds. My highest weight ever(that I know of since I'm not good about weighing myself daily). It's taken me a year, and it's been a slow process, and to be honest, I still feel like I have so far to go, but I've lost 21 pounds. This morning I weighed 153 and I couldn't be more proud of myself. In the past year I've learned how to be healthy and how to stay healthy. I still have my days where I feel like I could be doing so much more, but I'm happy with the progress I've made, and to be honest, I can't really believe I've made it this far. Thinking back to a year ago, I never thought I'd be where I am right now. Living in California, 20 pounds lighter, and a member of Pulse Percussion.

Our show this year is called "Coming and Going" and it couldn't be more appropriate for my life at any other moment besides this one. I've completely changed my life to be here, and at first, I was actually kind of sad. Sad to be leaving my friends, coworkers, and family behind in Arizona when I had finally learned to love where I was. Sad that the past 3 years have been me moving back and forth between Flagstaff and Chandler, constantly leaving someone behind. But now I was leaving everyone behind. I had to start over: new friends, new family, new drumline, new house, new everything. But that's just how life is. Things change, people move, and new chapters start. "The pictures of life come and go, none of it stays." This quote couldn't be more true.

This was so long and all over the place... oh well. That's pretty much my life right now.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


in 2011 my life changed for the better. i'm happier, healthier, and full of life. the year blew past me and i have a hard time believing it's almost over. i've been trying to think of ways to describe how this year has been for me, what it's meant to me, and i'm coming up blank. i'm living out one of my dreams, learning to appreciate what i have while i have it, and starting to live my life to the fullest.

i can't wait for 2012. there's so much to look forward to. this will be a year of firsts, and hopefully my best year yet.


Friday, October 7, 2011

good things must come to end

i know that's an overused saying, but it's what i've been thinking about lately. i hate change, especially when i'm not ready for it. i think i hate it because something good is coming to a close, and i have to find something else that's good. and the fact that the future is so unknown scares me.

i don't want to move to california. i like what i have going on here too much. i like my job, my family, my situation. but i have to move. moving is what i've been preparing for for the entire year. i can't turn my back on my goal.

a few weeks ago i was having doubts about drumline. i kind of hoped going out to pulse would be awful and i would hate it so i could just live at home for a little longer. so things wouldn't have to change. but, to no surprise really, i went out to pulse auditions and absolutely loved it. i'm so close and it makes me so nervous, but being there and playing is like a dream, it's so surreal. i need to move to california, and i need to move out there now. at least in the next few weeks. this means getting a new job, a new apartment, a new roommate, a new life.

i had doubts because i wasn't sure if i was ready to leave. i still don't know if i am. maybe i'll never be ready. financially, i'm ready. physically, i'm almost ready. emotionally, i have no idea. i've lived in arizona for almost my whole life and hated it. this past year was different though, i grew to love arizona, especially chandler. going out to california has made me appreciate arizona even more.

i've been procrastinating on looking for a job and a place to live out there. for one, i'm waiting to see if i actually did for sure make the line, and then to see if my friend makes their open line. he won't know for two weeks, and i don't know if i can afford to wait that long to find a place... i need to find a job. i was hoping i could transfer to the one tropical smoothie they have out in southern california, but everyone tells me not to move to that city because i'll hate my life when i have to drive to drumline.

i might ask my grandparents if i can stay with them until i find a place to stay and a job. i'm sure they would say yes, i just don't know how living with them would be...

anyways. time to start talking about it and to start doing it, right? ughhh.

(i'm actually really really excited, this is just my scared rant about it... :P)

oh, also, i was going to write about how good things come to an end and how i've realized it or whatever so now i'm trying to live life to the fullest and appreciate everything while it's happening so that i have great memories to look back on when it's over.

yeah all that sappy stuff.