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Searching for Music

I used to be content, with other people knowing me but never knowing my name. I used to think I was happy living in the shadows of my brother and sisters. I have five older siblings including my twin, and every single one of them was better than me in some way. I was never as smart as my straight ‘A’ brother, nor did I ever make as many friends as my twin sister. I was never as unique as my third older sister, nor as rebellious as my second oldest sister, and I could never be as commanding as my oldest sister.


By the time I entered school everyone knew who I was. I was always the little sister of ‘the smart one’ or ‘the crazy one’ even ‘the other twin’. I was okay with that, they were my family and I was proud of them. So I lived in their shadow, never realizing how hard I was always searching. Because I was not okay, I didn’t want to live in their shadows, I wanted people to know me for me, and not as the little sister to anybody. But I convinced myself that I did and so for years I lived in silence.



Then I went to middle school and my brother joined the band program. I can still remember that day he came home, leather case in his hand and sheets filled with music. I remember watching him in fascination and awe as he raised the shiny silver trumpet to his lips and blew, creating such a loud noise out of nothing. I remember how on that day we all crowded around him, begging him to let us try. Eventually he did and I was amazed at how hard it actually was to play it. I puckered my lips and blew as hard as I could; I blew and blew until my face turned red and just when I thought I couldn’t do it, it let out a tiny squeak. At that moment I realized how hard I had been searching, how desperately I wanted to be good at something on my own, and how much I loved it when I got that trumpet to work, and so the next year I joined the band program and changed the rest of my life.


My band instructor was a kind old man he reminded me a lot of my uncle Gordon and my uncle Lucero. He resembled my uncle Gordon a lot in looks and cheerful nature, but he also resembled my uncle Lucero in his strict nature and guiding ways. Just seeing him made me feel at home and the way he taught us made me fall in love with the world of music even more. I remember that day when he gave us a sheet and told us to write down which instrument we wanted to play. We were allowed to pick three instruments and I choose the flute, letting my girlish side take over. Then the percussion letting the childish side takes over. And finally the tuba letting the practical side shows through (since tuba players where the ones to get most of the music scholarships). I remember how surprised he was when he found out a girl had volunteered to play the tuba and how happy he was when he assigned me my own tuba. After that the rest was history.


I didn’t know that joining the band program made me friend with nearly everybody who joined it with me, nor did I know that everyone in my band class didn’t know whom my siblings were (until I told them or they meet somewhere else). I found myself taking pride in things only we the band students could do, of little things that really make no sense. Like being the last class our teacher taught before he retired, or playing in a concert at the end of the year even though we were horrible, or the fact that after a single year we could out play band student in the mainland who never did much of anything. I found myself freaking out with the rest of the band students whenever our old teacher showed up.

I found myself exposed to a wide variety of people I never knew before and that after a short while I was changing. I was making friends with lost of people in my class, I was more out going and had a tendency to yell thing when I got excited. I found something I loved and stuck to it, my brother dropped band after two years, and now I’m heading off this island for the first time because of it. I never knew that I was searching for something but I was glad when I found it; because now I’m lost in the world of music and I couldn’t be happier, people know me by name and now I’m no one ‘little sister’!





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