Today.

Today is my last jazz band performance. Today I perform with the Clark Jazz Band, subbing for their second tenor player. Today, I will be playing my last solo in jazz band as a high school student. Today, is just another last.

But today for some reason is harder than I thought it would be. At first it seemed like just any other concert. Playing with Clark definitely makes it a little different, but over all I wasn’t too concerned.

Until today.

I woke up this morning feeling rested for the first time since I left for California two weeks ago. But instead of a nice stretch, and a relaxed sigh; Instead of birds chirping and sun shining; Instead of smiling happily at the thought of a new day, I felt a feeling of dread.

Today’s the day.

That is all I could think. Today. Today is the last time I will perform in a jazz band with one of my best friends, he is moving to Massachusetts in 16 days. Today is the last time I will play my tenor saxophone for the Hockinson High School Jazz Band. I had no idea it meant so much to me to be a part of this band until it hit me that my last performance is tonight.

I am shaking just thinking about it. I will stand up, put my bell to the microphone and play the hardest saxophone solo I have ever played. My legs will shake, my thoughts will be whirling, knowing that so many people are watching. But then, it will all be over. My final high school jazz band performance will come to a close. Maybe I’ll go out with friends, maybe I’ll cry. All I know is that today is another last, another end. I’m getting sick of these lasts, but I know that they mean a new tomorrow, and I’m excited for that as well. However, no one ever said that it would be so bitter sweet. I wish I would have known before today.

~Lily Rose

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California Here We Come.. or There We Went

It was the best senior trip I could have asked for. My final trip with a group that I have been involved in since day one. Our lovely Hockinson High School band went to Southern California for 5 days, and it was perfect. We had a clinic and a performance, but the coolest “educational” event we did was recording parts of Disney soundtracks, in an actual recording studio backstage Disneyland.

But of course, who cares about educational stuff when you are in Disneyland. I was concentrating on what rides were my favorite, the new friends I was making, and making the largest amount of memories possible. We went to Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland and California Adventure, and Universal Studios within 4 days. I was a little timid at Knott’s, but after I went on Tower of Terror and California Screamin’ the next day, I found my courage. These rides became my absolute favorite. But, more than finding new rides, I found new friends in Disneyland as well. People that I think came into my life at just the right time, when everyone else is leaving for college, they will still be here. And of course, the memories were a plus as well. We went to a Medieval Times dinner, where I saw men with the most glorious luscious, glorious hair flying behind them as they jousted for the honor of the “kingdom”. Unfortunately, our knight lost, but he put up a fair fight, and hopefully if we were to go again he would end in victory.

The final day may have been my favorite though. We went to the Santa Monica pier. The sun was beating down on us, the hot sand between our toes. It was relaxing and perfect just walking along the beach talking to new friends, old friends, and Mr. McEnry. I bought the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, and decided my future lies with being a street performer with Erin. The pier was perfect. The trip was perfect.

If I could do one thing, it would be to spend more time in Southern California with all of my best friends. I am so thankful that I got to go on that trip. It was the perfect end to my high school career that is quickly coming to a close.

~Lily Rose

Lorikeet Landing from the Oregon Zoo or Lorikeet Landing from Hell?

“Let’s go into Lorikeet Landing” they said. “It will be fun” they said. “It’s time to get over your fear” they said.

But let me tell you, there was no getting over of fears that day. In fact, I didn’t know my fear was as great as it was until I entered the gates of Lorikeet Landing. I knew I was scared of birds. I knew I did not want them landing on me. I knew I did not want to feed them. I knew that I did not want to go into an enclosed area with bunches of them flying around my head.

But oh man, it was much worse than I feared. I was freaked out from the start, walking in nervously, holding a tin of nectar. I thought “maybe I can feed one and then they’ll let me leave”. So I did, it wasn’t terrible, but I also didn’t let it get very close to me. But then, I was caught unaware.

As I was talking with my hands, I managed to leave my arm sticking out. A perfect perch for a lurking lorikeet. Before I knew it, I heard a furious flapping, then felt something groping on my arm. With a shriek rising in my throat I turned and saw it, sitting on my arm, trying to finish the nectar one of its cousins had already devoured. The tears were there before I could stop them. The screams and yells tumbling out of my mouth, I jumped around, wanting it to fly away.

When the lorikeet was finally filled, it left me, in tears, shaking. I didn’t stop crying until we moved far beyond the enclosed torture chamber the zoo calls Lorikeet Landing.

But at least Hyrum got some funny pictures, and I supplied him, Erin and Ari with some form of entertainment as I discovered an intense irrational fear of birds.

~Lily Rose

Vulnerable

I just heard someone describe me as “cookie-cutter” and stereotypical. I heard them say that if I were given a graduation speech, I would talk about how great high school was, and how I have perfect grades and how high school is just perfect. Apparently I have had a perfect high school experience, and I am just a perfect person, and everything goes right for me. I’m just a typical high school girl with issues that don’t really matter, or don’t really exist.

All I have to say to that is you don’t know me, you don’t know my life. And if you were really as into the whole “be the change” thing as you say you are, then maybe you would take a moment to think about what you’re saying.

I am far from perfect, my life is far from perfect. I go through a lot just like the next person. It really frustrates me that someone would assume that my good attitude and work ethic must mean that my life is perfect. So here, because of you, person who felt the need to speak without considering others’ feelings, I am going to tell you about my life.

The summer after my sophomore year in high school my very best friend’s mom died of cancer. She was a second mom to me. Thinking of her still makes me want to sit and cry as I continue to miss her presence in my life. Junior year, my best friend’s brother died in a tragic accident. It was hard on our entire friend group, we still struggle with the pain of that loss. My family has been struggling a lot with life as well. My dear sister has made some choices that have hurt our entire family. And while half of my family tries to keep up appearances, I just try to keep up hope that she can come back to the way she used to be. I found out this past month that one of my best friends is moving to the east coast next year. As one of his closest friends I have been given the task of helping him get through this hard time, while trying to grasp the idea of not having one of my best friends with me next year that was supposed to be there.

That all involves other people, but there’s also a lot you don’t know about the thoughts in my head. Since I was younger I have struggled with self confidence. In fact, I struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a time. I have felt pressured by everyone and everything around me to be perfect. In a recent blog post I said it was nice to be reminded that no one is perfect. The reason that meant so much to me is because I beat myself up day after day after day if I make one mistake. If I disappoint one person. If I fail one expectation. You think I’m perfect? Well, I wish I could tell you that I was, it is the one thing I strive for more than anything. It’s the one thing I know I will never achieve. I look in the mirror everyday, wondering what I could fix, what I could improve. If only I tried harder, wore enough makeup, dressed just different enough, was smart but not nerdy, was nice enough, good enough.. the list goes on and on.

So thank you, blunt person, for now adding another thing to that list. I guess I should try to hate high school more for you. I guess I should get worse grades, and then maybe you would like me. I guess I should try to be less “cookie-cutter” and stereotypical. I wish I could do those things for you. I wish I was enough for you. But I guess you just taught me that I can’t please everyone. Because enough for you is not enough for everyone else. Heck, it’s not enough for me.

I’m sorry I’m not miserable enough for you. I’m sorry I’m not “good enough” in your eyes. But I will not apologize for being me. And if that is a stereotypical “cookie-cutter” to you, then fine. Think of me what you will. But try to remember that there is always more to people than they allow others to see.

~Lily Rose

The First Cut is the Deepest

It’s time to say goodbye. I need a new chapter in my life. You were great for a time. You taught me new things about myself and the world. I learned from you that maybe some things do exist that I previously didn’t believe. We had fun, even though we didn’t spend a lot of time together.

But now, I must apologize. The time I have is dwindling, and I don’t have much to spare. It turns out, I don’t have time for you anymore. Call me selfish, maybe I am, but this new time in my life does not involve you. It is impossible.

It’s time to say goodbye. I need to begin this story. All by myself. I have to reiterate, you were wonderful for a time. I have no regrets, I only wish I could have given you more time than I was willing. Hopefully you will find someone better for you, that will keep you around longer.

It’s time to say goodbye.

I just returned the book The Fellowship of the Ring. I will miss that book, but as I stated above it’s time to start a new story; The Two Towers.
It’s time to say goodbye.

Goodbye.
~Lily Rose

I’m Only Human

I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that’s what you want
Be your number one
I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that’s what you ask
Give you all I am

I can do it
I can do it
I can do it

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human, yeah

I can turn it on
Be a good machine
I can hold the weight of worlds
If that’s what you need
Be your everything

I can do it
I can do it
I’ll get through it

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human, yeah

I’m only human
I’m only human
Just a little human

I can take so much
Until I’ve had enough

‘Cause I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
‘Cause I’m only human
~Human by Christina Perri

I have been stress recently. No, that is not a typo. I have not been stressed. I have been stress. I am stress. As the school year winds down, life picks up. There is no time to breathe. But then I heard this song after school one day, Human, and it affected me so much that I dropped everything to listen and learn this song. I’m not sure why it caught my attention. Maybe it was because I recognized Christina Perri’s voice, or maybe because it wasn’t one of the 5 songs that constantly plays on the radio. But, either way, it made an impression on me.

I mean didn’t the lyrics catch your attention? “I’m only human” For once it isn’t about being “supernatural” or “larger than life”. Finally, someone admits that they can’t conquer the world, they are just really good at faking it. It seems like we all get so good at carrying the weight of words on our shoulders, that no one even notices that the weight is slowly crushing us. Life gets hard. Trying to handle everything for everyone is exhausting. I like to think that I can hold my world, and the worlds of others all the time. My commitments, my problems, my friends’ problems, my friends’ relationships, my own relationships. But the fact is, like Christina Perri, and everyone else in the world, I am only human. Sometimes I need to break down, but let me apologize if you are within range when that happens! 🙂 I am thankful that this song was a stress reliever for me. Even when all of the pressure tells me that perfection is the answer, I have been reminded that I don’t, in fact, have to be perfect!

~Lily Rose

Change

It’s a beautiful thing. Beautiful dresses, nice suits, flowers littering the view. People come from all over to watch others walk down a path.
It’s the start of something new, the end of something good.
The sun sets on one day and begins to rise anew.
It brings tears to the eyes, as a mixture of feelings overwhelm.
Water rises, rises until land breaks down.
Faces shine and grin, bringing fears to mind
Will these faces live on, or will this be the end?
Can a ceremony bring enough closure to those left behind?
Is it a new chapter or an entirely new book?
No answers are given, they aren’t yet written in the sky.
But I will wish and hope and pray that this isn’t goodbye.