There will always be one principle to remember throughout your entire life: When good things happen, bad things will. What matters most is how you power through those bad things, because the actions you take then will have lasting benefits in regards to your character and mental/emotional strength. People will tell you to hate yourself. People will also tell you to love yourself for who you are. The next step is for you to decide who to listen to.
For me, life has always been a mountain range – full of good things but also bad. However, one of the many principles I chose to adhere to this year is the notion that there are no problems – only situations. Optimism is something I’ve worked on quite a lot, and honestly I’ve found myself feeling little immediate distress throughout the past year despite expressing myself in a rather pessimistic manner around my family, but we’ll get to why that is later.
Let me start by saying that this will be the most in-depth year review I’ve done because there’s a lot more to cover and I’m formatting it a lot differently, on a more personal level. However, the most detailed review I can give involves the aid of every blog I’ve made this past year, for each one touches on a different topic. I’ll organize them fashionably below for you if you so desire. This year review will eclipse all of the topics I’ve covered, and offer some additional insight. Here is the list of blog topics from this past year:
I think I’ll divide this year into four phases that are relatively accurate:
COMFORT PHASE (January – February)
This was the beginning of the year. My third quarter of school was mostly compromised because of snow days, so I found myself at home a lot, comfortably enjoying everything I had and bringing my past to the future.
- I got back into playing some old games I used to play in years prior, including Marble Blast and RCT 3. I engaged in other activities that reminded me of my past as well, all while using those things to make something for the future. January was a comfortable month; I spent a lot of time on Skype, in-game, etc.
- In February I entered another remix contest, but alas that never goes well. This was a slow month, mostly because I spent a lot of time experimenting. I made a video of FL Studio, and decided to have some fun with my “A Trip to the Past” series that began in March. My goal was to spark some more fun in my musical productions, and that is what I did. I didn’t exactly spend much time focusing on the future. However, I did get involved in the YMCA and signed up for swimming lessons (since I couldn’t swim).
MUSIC PHASE (February – May)
I decided that I was going to be very active in putting myself out there in regards to music. This period was a phase in which I was relatively happy and spent most of my time thinking about music.
- Through March, I did a lot of album work, made a ton of new productions purely for fun as part of “A Trip to the Past”, and I even finally made a few FL Studio tutorials (these have recently become unlisted, however). During March, I also made a demo project for one of FL’s new synths that came out the same month: MiniSynth. Through April, I began planning something titled TW’s Probation Marathon, in which the purpose was to promote my album “Dawn of Orchestral Ends”, as well as get my name out there. I fixed up Zaex Battle and sent that to Monstercat, only to get declined. That was slightly expected, however. I fixed up my logo too, which was nice; the science fair was also this month. Unfortunately, our team did not get a place, but nevertheless the project was a success.
- May was a twisted month on many levels, but it was mostly focused on album work and getting TW’s Probation Marathon finished up and preparing for launch. I also fired up MBP 1.5 beta and tried out MP for the first time. That was only a short phase, however.
DARK PHASE (May – August)
You’ll notice that this phase is comprised of the summer months. Yeah, the summer is also where most of my blogs lie, as it was extremely eye-opening to me in ways I’m both distasteful towards and grateful towards. To begin, my great grandmother and dog both died within 48 hours of each other. All the while, my mother was in Alabama, and the family was just a mess. I actually finished one of the album productions among these days, because I was feeling things I needed to express in music. I never felt so musically alive. Sadness aspired motivation, just as motivation was quickly killed by sadness. It’s touchy, yeah.
- In June, I took the ACT and ended up with a depressing 27. Although it isn’t a terrible score, it also isn’t enough to get me free rides. I went to a summer camp that I absolutely loved because it gave me the opportunity to speak freely and make new friends. It allowed me to connect with people in a way that felt new to me. I did a lot of music-related things as well, but those never went anywhere as usual. My family got into a huge spiff over me entering early college classes for financial reasons, and frankly that ended very bitterly. I decided against it after consulting my teachers, but my mother was not very content with that decision. I only did it for money as well – if my parents wouldn’t pay for it and since I couldn’t pay for it, I may as well miss out. That was basically it.
- July was an experimental month to say the least. I acquired a number of refurbished hobbies I had in the past, including cards, magic, and the art of yo-yos. I also went to a second camp with my youth group that opened my mind even more in regards to social environments. I managed to explore something of a spiritual experience – one that I had not felt before. This is something I did not previously blog about, mostly because explaining it is difficult. It was a situation where I felt things I could not understand or control. Religion is one thing, but spirituality is honestly a completely different matter, because even though religion is based around spirituality, spirituality is not based around religion. It’s a personal experience with something supernatural, and I managed to explore that, which was nice.
- July was also the most active month musically for me, as I finished up a remix of U.N. Owen Was Her, as well as crafted a remix of one of my very own productions. Over five productions were released this month. Throughout everything that I experienced this month, I was feeling especially experimental. I dyed my hair purple – a rich purple that was slightly blue violet as well.
- August was a transitional month, and it felt like one of the longest, yet richest. My trip to Pennsylvania to record my album trailer felt like a renewed experience, and it made me feel like I had finally completed something. I came back feeling different emotionally.
ACADEMIC PHASE (August – December)
So, with the mixture of uncanny fun and cultural depression out of the way, it was finally time to focus on the future, and not the long-term musical future that I continued to dream about. I mean the temporary future – the one that involved the steps in getting to that long-term future.
- With the aid of hairspray, I got my hair to look extra purple for recording my album trailer. The production turned out mediocre, but the experience was fulfilling. I used my violin for recording and also brought a second one to break in front of a bonfire; that was fun. I posted a teaser for a novel that never released, and never will release. My first day of senior year was also a success, and school was actually a positive point (something I did not initially expect).
- In September, I turned 16 and got my instructional permit the following day. I released a remix of one of my productions for sale, hoping to get on some promotional networks with it. For some reason, I never really sent it out too many times. My album trailer was uploaded, and most of my music for the year was already done and released by this month. However, I changed my schedule to something I did not previously blog about too much: I signed up for early admittance college classes (something I wanted to do all year). That doesn’t seem like much, but there’s more. I performed said actions without telling my parents, so they were not informed until later on. I did this because I wanted to prove to my parents that I could be both responsible and independent - two things I already feel inside. See, I’ve reached a point in my life where my parents no longer have a prominent effect in the direction of my character. I love them and appreciate them, but there are just a lot of inner problems that I shouldn’t discuss that keep me from feeling optimistic around them. It is partly because of their relationship with each other and my lack of desire to get involved.
- In October, I took the ACT again and ended up with a lower score (which surprised me). This was my last opportunity to raise it prior to deadlines, and upon seeing my score I realized that I was screwed. On the bright side, I went to Camp Loucon, which was a beautiful mix of depressing and joyous experiences. These mixed allowed me to reflect a lot on my life and think of ways I can be an impact on other people’s lives. It worked very well. I also got contacts this month (finally).
- In November, I finally got a job (which was how I intended to pay for my classes) and enlightened my parents on my decision to take college classes. My mom was thrilled (but she always was), but my father was initially resentful. He got over it though, I got my bank account, and I started focusing on the initial future that was ahead of me. I held Album Appreciation Week, which was dedicated to looking back at the album’s history and inspirations.
- In December, I had my orientation for my classes, went through Driver’s Ed for my intermediates, and released my album “Dawn of Orchestral Ends” on the 20th. I also have a new instrument I need to learn in adding to my arsenal (thanks to Christmas): clarinet. I guess that’s next year’s instrument!
If there’s a bottom line to this review, it’s that hope truly is life’s greatest lie. I hoped and then I continued to hope all year up until the very end. But look at where hoping got me. Despite all my efforts, it didn’t pay off… yet. I continue to hope. I continue to try. And I will continue to try, because I chose to listen to the voice in my head telling me to keep going – to never give up. Throughout everything this past year has brought me, it gave me hope. I’m succeeding in my job, and I’m about to start my college classes. My driving hours are all almost in, and I’ll be highlighting my hair later this week for a change, to comply with my school’s policy of course; also, did I mention I’m into yoga?
Things seem great in that department of life, which they are, but there are still a lot of situations I have yet to gain control of. My music is important to me, my family is important to me, and my (so-called) friends are important to me nonetheless. My family is moving to Florida next year after I graduate and the plan is already set for me to move out. They agreed to support me financially until I can support myself, but this was my choice. Also, I still don’t know where I’m going to college because of this. Yet, 2015 will truly be the start of something new in every department, from my initial future to what I hope to be my long-term future, as I’ll be making a lot of submissions to Monstercat and other networks as my main means of production until I can finally get going.
Next year, I’m opening up all my emotions in more than just music; I’m releasing multiple works of writing: one novel that was inspired from an album production, a two-part autobiography, and a collection of poems (anthropology). I also intend to engage in aromatherapy throughout the course of the next year as an added aid to yoga and other activities of that nature, to help further the stability of my emotions and mind.
Finally, I’d like to conclude with a poem I wrote earlier this year, titled “Looking Back”:
Looking back, not only do I see myself
As I once was,
But what I evolved from;
Looking back, not only can I see life
As it once was,
But what became of it;
Looking back, not only will I see what happened
As it happened,
But what was gained from it.
Optimism is a choice,
And a choice is a privilege;
It gives you a reason to live,
A reason to make a change;
Life is too short to keep looking back;
Time is not on your side.
A good memory will always be a memory,
For everything has an end.
There is no harm in looking back
Until it becomes your drug,
Because death is waiting
And it is inevitable.
2014 has been a full year. Things are changing; the world is changing. Believe. Love: waiting instead of hurrying; showing up when there is no time; forgiving instead of holding a grudge; listening instead of talking; never giving up – pulling through all the way until the very end.
I love you, but your attitude is like that of a shrew. Your options? Take a pill or be my kill. Might I suggest that you wear a vest. Perish in class or be banished to the land of bluegrass, where dreams don't exist as you'll be eternally pissed.