The Beginning of Your Story

“Welcome to the beginning of your story!”

This has been the opening line to each email I’ve opened this past week. The fall semester has begun and now I am officially a college student.

To say I have handled this transition easily would be an understatement. I feel completely lost in a sea of people and ideas. I knew this was going to be different from high school, but I really wasn’t ready.

Before me is an endless road of possibility. I have the chance to reinvent myself without any pressure.

A fresh slate. No hurt from the past, no familiar faces.

Just me.

This first day has been strange. I walk around trying not to look too much like a freshman, but also remind myself that literally no one else cares how you look.

Currently , I am sitting in the hub of the university: The Memorial Union. This place holds a strange atmosphere. It is unlike a cafeteria, even though it pretty much is. I’m sure I’ll seek refuge here many times form the disgusting heat that will not just leave.

The next few days are going to be interesting and full of loads of anxiety, but I’m curious to see how they go.

Alright college, lets do this.

Wait, You’re A Latina ? 

There is nothing more confusing than being a mixed kid. 

When I was little, I was the only girl at church with darker features. Everyone else had blonde hair and bright eyes. 

At first, this didn’t bother me. I thought I was the coolest thing being half Puerto Rican. When you’re small, race doesn’t seem to exist. You’re just all people together that look a bit different. 

Once I hit the age of 10, race began to be real. All my peers began to talk about it because we now knew what it meant. This is when life became confusing. 

I have a white mom, but a Puerto Rican dad. What was I? My school records said Hispanic, but everyone said that I was white.  I had no clue where my identity was.

By 12, I was at the awkward stage that we all wish was buried away from the world. I had gone through a school year of torment and now was even more confused about my identity but I was also angry. 

I hated how I looked. I wasn’t like the other girls who seemed to have it all. Their golden locks always so pretty and their really cool looking eyes. I felt so plain. 

I tried everything to fit in with the super preppy girls. They had the life I thought I wanted . When I entered high school, I still had no real idea of who I was. I just had an image I was trying to replicate. 

The voices in my head would constantly remind me of the ugliness and self hatred I had towards my body. It didn’t help when I entered the great big world of boys . Those girls blessed with locks of sunshine and brilliant blue eyes seemed to catch the attention of boys all the time. I didn’t attract much at all. The voices told me very clearly ” look at them, they’ve got the full package, you’re just the ugly duckling silly!” 

Seventeen  is when things began to shift. I was rebuilding myself again after another very rough year. This time around, I told myself I was sick of the lies. I wanted to be authenticly me. 

This started with looking to my past. I found so many amazing ancestors, from both sides. My pride in my heritage grew rapidly and suddenly, I didn’t see being mixed as a burden. 

I have stories of resilience threaded through my history. The white side has some of the first United States citizens and  pioneers . The Puerto Rican side has slavery, immigrants and native islanders. 

Now, I live with pride. I’m in love with the heritage I posses 
Being more aware of my heritage has brought a new found sense of fight to me. Seeing the injustice breaks my heart and the fight for immigrants makes me remember the family that came to the United States for its dreams and freedom. 

I’m blessed that I can see both sides. This mixed thing isn’t as confusing. I know for the rest of my life I’ll struggle slightly but, I’d rather know that I’m something wonderful. 

Reguardless of what group I feel I belong in , I’ll always know that I’m a melting pot of strong willed people and that is no where near confusing. 

So You Are Just Gonna Play Music All Day For People?

” What are you doing with your life after high school?”

I  have absolutely hated getting  this question for the past 6 months. I do know what I am doing with my life, but once I tell people what I’m doing, they have more questions and then I am stuck in a conversation that I do not want to be in.

When I was trying to decide what to major in, I knew two things: One, I loved music and two, I wanted to help people. I always figured I could minor in music but it just never felt right to have it be the lower study. Everything I was exploring wasn’t sitting right at all. I knew that I certainly did not want to be a performance major and that teaching was never gonna pay enough for my liking, so I thought I would have to give up my music idea. A tad discouraged, I started to research some more. I was looking through a list of music careers when suddenly it popped out; music therapy!

Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. ( Source : www.musictherapyontario.com/page-1090464 )

After I had looked into the field more, I knew this is what I needed to do with my life. The process of application began and before I knew it, I was getting ready to audition for the School of Music at ASU. When I would tell people what I was doing, I would always get a mix of replies like:

“So you’re just playing music for people all day?”

“Is that even a real field of therapy?”

“What are you gonna do exactly?”

” Is this new? I have never heard of it before!”

Then I would be stuck trying to get the idea of my future career in peoples’ heads as they looked at me, pretending to get it, but have the most concerned look in their eyes.

I am working right now on a reaudition for the music school since ASU has a very competitive acceptance to their cello program. I refuse to give up on my goal though.

I can’t wait to start studying in this field. I already have such a passion as I read more, study more and learn more about the practice. I found my happy medium of what I wanted in my life.  It will be such a good path for me and what I want from my life.

So no, I wont be singing to people all day, I’ll just be using my favorite passion to help those around me.

 

 

 

For more info on Music Therapy , visit :

https://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/

Welcome to Adulthood Kid

You know how all the adults love to warn you when you complain about high school?

” Take it in now! Once you graduate you have to face the realities of life and you’ll wish you could be a teen forever!”

If I got paid each time I heard that , I’d be rich. To be fair, I hated high school so regardless of what people told me I believed that life would be waaaaaay better out of that prison. So far, it really is and I’m excited for the future, but this week decided to be the big ‘ol reality bomb.

To start my week, I officially got my tuition receipt for the first semester of college . I opened my student page, saw the balance and immediately sat down. Honestly believed I had been shot in the gut. The idea of paying for college terrifies me and I don’t understand why it costs so stinking much! Why do I need to pay over $48,000 to become a better educated woman? Basically, I realized how truly broke I will be these next four years.

As a music major, I need the best skills possible so this summer, I have been taking private lessons. This week my teacher told me that it is time to upgrade to professional grade . As exciting as this is, professional cellos cost just about as much as I am paying for my first semester of school, sometimes even more. I’ve been searching on all the realms of the internet to try to get an estimate of how much I need to be saving. After lots of crying over price tags, I came to the conclusion that I can never spend money again. I will hoard all of it like Scrooge.

Mid week, we got the cherry on top. My new car , a used 2007 prius, had a warning light go on right as I was driving to an appointment. After quite a lot of muttering and asking the lord why, I parked and went to the appointment. While waiting to be called back, I turned to the internet for a solution and texted my parents to inform them of my awesome new issue. From what I found, it sounded like it had something to do with the batteries of the car. I informed my mom on my findings and then started looking up the price tag on them. A normal battery costs around $180 , to which I cringed at. The hybrid battery? $5000 !!! That one made me just about have an anxiety attack. I made it through the appointment and got ready to leave. But the car would not start. I was officially stranded . Luckily, my amazing dad came to my rescue and our mad dash around town began. We had to leave the prius at the office , unable to solve the issue and it begin to late for a tow. Thankfully, my dad got in contact with someone who specializes in hybrid batteries. So the next day this expert met us at the car and took a look. It started up and made it back home with no issues, but this didn’t last long.The issues arose once again I ran a few errands.

Looks like it’s time to replace the 10 year old hybrid battery. Thankful this savior hybrid man can do it for less than $1000, but I just keep crying. I am truly embracing the college life style; broke and a mess!

This is the reality all of those adults were just waiting for me to have so I could then tell them they were right about being a teen.

As much as I HATE this money situation, I just have to accept it.

Cause guess what? Life is gonna move with or without me. I’m choosing to roll with it cause its the first of many of these situations.

Life gave me one heck of a welcome to the big leagues this week, but it is not prepared for who its dealing with.

Lets go adulthood; its on.

6 Months

As of today, June 20th, I will have been officially dating him for a half of a year. We met in the seventh grade. We were stand partners in one of the smallest cello sections I’ve been in. There were only 4 of us and automatically, I felt a gravitation towards him. To this day, I can’t tell you why. All I knew was that he was important and I needed to stick with him.

 

Once we hit high school, we were pretty much inseparable

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Every orchestra festival, there was always a seat saved. We’d joke around, listen to amazing music and just have a great time.

Sophomore year, we both advanced into the next group. We still sat together during festival and gradually spent more time together. Both of us signed up for pit orchestra and had the best time of our lives. We even spent time together on a school trip to California, even though we were on separate buses.

 

 

I was going through some of the toughest things  I had faced and didn’t audition to move up. He on the other hand, was so incredibly talented and went for it. He made it. All of a sudden , I realized. Here is the separation. I don’t want it at all.

Junior year, we didn’t see each other much. Orchestra festivals were our time but it was rare. A seat was still saved, but it was a bit sad. January hit and with buzz over Sadie Hawkins and the up coming New York trip, I decided to ask him to the dance. He said yes and we started texting back an forth.

When we landed in New York, he checked in on me as we loaded up the bus, knowing my fear of flying. He still saved a seat for me on the bus and we toured the city together. These memories are something I will remember forever.

 

It was a whirlwind. The best whirlwind. We came home at midnight on Friday and the dance was Saturday.

 

 

He was terribly sick but wanted me to have a fun night. And that we did. Everything was fantastic. But I made sure he get sufficient rest after it was all done

 

For that point forward, we never stopped texting. Every week I realized that I was falling and super hard. I knew the feelings had been housed there for a while, I just ignored them. Now, there was no ignoring. It had become physically impossible.

We were together just about everyday that summer. He saw me through a house flood, I saw him through the death of his beloved dog. We leaned on each other more than ever.

 

Senior year arrived and we were super close again. We had lunch together and so many memories were created.

 

We went on lots of adventures that first semester. Mall scavenger hunts, ice skating , lanterns and the symphony. It was kinda magical.

December hit and I was stressed to the max, as was he. So we went for fro yo as usual to just treat ourselves. I was spilling my guts about my stress and some how we got to the topic of dating and feelings. I hinted, so did he but neither said a word. I had said everything else and my soul was feeling really light but that feeling was so heavy. So I let it go. I spilled it to him. And it felt so good.

To my surprise, he spilled his guts a bit too. The feelings were oh so mutual. We decided to postpone a relationship talk till after finals.  The day school let out, we got fro yo and had the talk. Our relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend began. That day was December 20th.

April came and prom asks were happening left and right. And I got mine, a simple rose IMG_1148

He listened to me go on and on about Beauty and the Beast and decided I needed a prince for the ball and a rose of my own. I couldn’t be more excited.

And then it happened

Senior Prom. Just as I had imagined it when I was little. I spent the night dancing my feet till they were blistered and enjoying a night with a dreamy guy, in a beautiful dress . It was the cliche high school movie ending.

May

 

We reached the end. Laughter, tears and happiness all in one night. We had stood by each other for 6 years. This night was no different.

And now we cut to present time. June 20th, half a year  later.  It’s been an amazing half and I look forward to more if God so permits. I can’t thank the Lord enough for him. He is my guardian angel and my support . What the future holds is unclear but, as I reflect on this big milestone, I know that I would relive these 6 months in a heartbeat. So here’s to more Kelton.

Keep smiling handsome.

-Jocelyn

 

 

Lessons Learned From High School

 

  1. Everything wont always work in your favor. Be ok with that.
  2. People are gonna drift. Friend groups will change .
  3. Don’t let anyone tell you falsehoods about yourself. You are a strong woman and don’t accept anything else.
  4. Not every guy is a prince charming. Don’t fall for the innocent looking texts.
  5. Doing things you love will save your life. Never give up on your passion
  6. Don’t worry about fitting in. You need to be your own person.
  7.  Everything will be better. You have to push through
  8. God made you perfectly
  9. Don’t let people discourage your goals
  10. Treat yourself every once in a while
  11. There is nothing wrong with you
  12. Don’t stress over what others think. You do you love.
  13. It’s ok to express your feelings. They are very mutual by the way.
  14. Don’t try to grow up too fast. Enjoy the years you have
  15. Laugh, dance and smile. This world has so much happiness to offer.

Senior Year: Half Way

I have officially completed a semester of my senior year! It is so crazy that I only have 147 days left  before I am a high school graduate. I have spent most of this semester putting together college applications, scholarship applications and keeping my grades up. People were not kidding when they said that it would move super  quick . I am still trying to realize that I am half way through.

So far this year, I have learned so many things about myself, what I want out of life and how to grow up. Its been strange to be in this position as I have gone to pep rallys, football games, college presentations and many other school events. As I have played in orchestra concerts I’ve realized that they were my last ones, that it is all almost over. It doesn’t really hit me as I go each day but sometimes I will be sitting in a class and realize that this, my little world, is about to end as I move onto adulthood . Everything I know is shifting and growing with me. It is very weird.

Am I a fan of high school? No way, but there are some things I know are going to be hard to say goodbye to.  I love my friends so much and don’t want them to leave, but some are leaving out of state for school, others on missions but I will be here in Arizona. As for school itself, the only class I know I will miss is orchestra. To have been under the instruction of such an amazing teacher has been such a blessing.  Though I am going into a music field, it still wont be the same. I am going to miss that class a lot.

It’s a little difficult to think about life a year from now because I don’t want to accept the fact that I have to confront change. I HATE change. Change causes me a lot of stress and worry because I am the type of person who needs a plan.  When I deal with change, my plans usually hit the garbage. All the things I thought would happen are now altered or deleted. Life is funny that way.

Next semester is going to be an interesting whirlwind full of  endings , preparation and new beginnings but I am so ready for it. Though I am completely terrified of growing up, I can’t wait to see what is in store for me over the course of the last 18 weeks of high school.

Bring it on.

Finding Light in the Mist of Darkness

Unfortunately , no one is immune to trials.It is a part of life that we all agreed to before we came to this world and its something that can’t be taken away. I have found as I have faced trials that there is a reason behind everything.  I don’t always see it, but there’s something that will strengthen me in each situation.

The past few weeks have been very rough. I have stumbled and fallen as I have been pressed upon. One night, I found myself on my knees, a sobbing mess, pleading with my father in heaven. The sobbing was so intense, I could barley utter a word and took about 25 minutes to pray for a prayer that should’ve taken 5 minutes max.  I found myself pleading to God to just end this trial that I have been facing for quite sometime. I was so discouraged. I have come to terms with the fact that this specific trial is here to make me stronger but it exhausts me. On this specific night, I couldn’t help but feel a bit angry towards my father in heaven . I have pleaded so many times for this burden to be lightened but it seems like its just  gotten heavier. Then, I was reminded that when Christ was in Gethsemane , he pleaded for relief, but what he went through needed to be done. Christ went through his trial so he could know what mine would feel like and how to heal me. I am being molded for something greater an I shouldn’t be angry about it. I should be rejoicing. Just because it isn’t getting easy, doesn’t mean I’m alone or unloved. There is so much more than the now.

What’s so fantastic about my trials is that I am starting to see them as building blocks for my testimony. I am able to draw closer to my savior as I push through the darkness. The light is him and his gospel. Do I wish I could learn these principles another way? Absolutely, but luckily , I have come to realize that the lord has a certain path that I need in order to grow. Finding that light isn’t always easy but as I have clung to it, I have found how to make the best out of my trials. There is always an opportunity to turn to him. I can always rely on him to be my guide and comforter  and that’s what brings the light to clear the mist of  darkness.