Self Portrait in Three Colours

My Life in Words – Part 1

Posted on: October 19, 2009

Warning: This reads more as a fiction story than anything else – you will have to forgive me because that’s what it looks and feels like in my head, and so thats how the words came out on paper the screen. I promise I won’t always be this dramatic ๐Ÿ™‚

If you had showed me my life at this point two and a half years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you for a second, even if you had it in play-by-play mode. I would have asked where you’d found identical twins for myself and all my family because my brain simply would not have computed the fact that all this could actually be real. It’s not where I really saw my life headed and yet, here I am today and I can still hardly believe it.


In 2007 I was in my final year of high school. I was playing clarinet in the school band ย and was in a fairly serious relationship with a guy who didn’t go to my school but lived around the corner from me. There wasn’t much difference in our ages, less than a year, and that’s just because, at my age, I was technically supposed to be in the year level below. We met while we were both working at Hungry Jacks in the Summer of 2005 and were both looking forward to finishing school and having some sort of freedom together. I’ll get back to him.

The Symphonic Band at my school has, for many years, been considered one of the best in Australia. Certainly, our band conductor was very highly regarded in all the top conducting circles (if there are any?) and, while being very strict and many times unreasonable, he was someone we all admired because he had fueled our love of music and sense of discipline, and had turned us into the best musicians that we could have possibly been. I was on 3rd clarinet, the only year 12 in that particular section (my peers were more or less technically better than I was) and was responsible for a group of 5 younger, much less experienced clarinet players. I loved that more than anything. I came to be grateful for the role – I would hold sectionals of my very own, I’d organize their photocopies, I’d create things for them to help and motivate them to practice. And I really hope that, through being their “sub-section leader”, I was able to instill my own musical morals and discipline into these kids as well. It wasn’t until much later in the year that I realized that I might actually be good at doing that for a living.

The Symphonic Band would go on an annual tour, usually to a state like Queensland or New South Wales – this year, we did both. Before this tour I became aware of a student teacher in the music department. I knew very little of him – just that, during a short stint of playing piano in the school jazz band, he had come over once and complimented me on my playing, and suggested that all I needed to do was to play out more. He came back to accompany us on the tour as an extra teacher, and it was during this week that I got to know him a little better. He felt more like a friend than a teacher; he’d sit up the front of the double decker bus with us and make jokes and create games for us to play. The younger and older kids alike all felt a strong connection with this young, passionate guy, who had incidentally gone through the music program at the same school a few years earlier. We discussed with him the possibility of forming a Grad band, because as Year 12s we simply did not want to let go of the band experience. He was all up for it and we decided immediately that our grand plan would be put into action. I had an admiration for him that could not be explained, as I know many of my friends did too. He was just something a little different. His name was Aaron.

We talked in short stints after the tour ended, mainly to discuss the Grad Band and organize members for it, and it was then we realized that we could really and truly be good friends. We had so much in common and conversation was easy and natural. He introduced me to some fantastic jazz music and was able to help with my Music Performance study (our teacher was sub-par and we never felt like we were learning much from her).ย Being a little paranoid about legal issues and things like that (although he wasn’t working at the school anymore!) we kept our distance though, instead resolving that once I’d finished studying we’d spend more time together.

During this time I was stressed out of my head about school work and my relationship with the boy around the corner was not going so well. I felt like I never had any time to see him and he did not like that. It felt unfair to me because I already had to deal with photography folios and media presentations and English essays and Maths tests and everything else that comes with being in your final year of school, and I couldn’t deal with the added pressure of him wanting to see me every afternoon. I wanted a bloody good score to finish off my high school years with! And even though he was doing the same thing and had dreams of being a doctor, for some reason he didn’t take work as seriously. Long story short – after months of arguments, we broke up. Although it was distressing, my mixed feelings were smoothed out after realizing that I felt more free than I had the entire year.

So at the end of October, school had officially finished and all that was left was exams. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then I got Glandular Fever. For anyone not aware, Glandular sucks every molecule of energy that you could possibly imagine storing in your body, leaving you like a human shell that can barely stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. The worst of it stayed around for about 10 days, but I spent the entirety of the next year recovering, and I still feel its effects even now, almost 2 years since I contracted it. Needless to say I got through my exams and came out with an ENTER score of 91.8, which came as the biggest and most pleasant shock of my life considering everything I’d been through that year.

2007 was coming to a close and the freedom I felt was comparable to none. I was finished high school forever. I had decided to take a year off study. I finally felt like an adult. And I was allowed to begin a friendship with Aaron.

..To be continued!

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4 Responses to "My Life in Words – Part 1"

[…] about the current situation of my life right now, it will help to explain much of my writingsee My Life in Words – Part 1. I’m getting onto the next parts). We dropped in on the neighbours – I met them for the […]

[…] pick up my clarinet if my throat improves at all. And perhaps I’ll write part two of My Life in Words, get a bit more of that out of the way. Regardless, I am going to make sure that it’s a very, […]

I really enjoyed your writing.. waiting to read part 2.. hope you stay smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha yeah I had planned to write part 2 weeks ago but you know how life is… far too busy to even contemplate blog writing! It’s something that I hope to do in the next week or two.

Thanks again for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I'm Monica - a 21 year old Aussie girl trying to understand life. Teaching music and studying to be a primary school teacher. Blogging about everything and nothing!

@clarinade

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