I played in the bands at school because I love music. I wanted so badly to play in the OCDSB All-Star Jazz Band and the auditions were in the fall, soon after school had started.
I didn’t make the band and I was devastated. Later on, I went through some tough times and I was struggling. Music helped a lot, but even then sometimes music was the problem because I’d compare myself to others and think “I’m so bad at this, why am I even trying? I’ll never be like them. I didn’t make the ASJB, so I must be bad. they thought so.”
I pushed through and I later made the OCDSB All-Star Concert Band! I made some new friends. That was a small boost of confidence, enough for me to start taking more risks in not just my music but in school. I started soloing in our school’s jazz band, I started talking to more people, I tried out for some sports teams.
At the end of the year, an opportunity came up for me to audition for the Ottawa Junior Jazz Band, which is an all-star band for juniors (grade 10 or under) in Ottawa. I thought there wasn’t a chance in the world I’d ever make it and I nearly backed out. I found that when I forgot about the audition itself and focused on the music, the part I loved, I realized I could do it. I was playing for a reason, not to make the band, but to make myself happy. I spent a month straight playing and practicing and listening. I made the band, and I am overjoyed.
Long story short, through thick and thin, I stuck with it and it was worth it. you have to believe in yourself and do what you love. Do it for you, not for anyone else. Find your passion and stand by it. It won’t always be easy and it won’t always be the best thing at times, but it’ll be a lighthouse in the stormy sea of life. Just keep swimming.