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A lesson in life?


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Well, this going to be a long one so, bare with it if you can;

I am Canadian citizen. Born and raised, I have been living in the same city 21 years (current age). My lesson begins in 2011, when I was 18. During my grade 12 year in high school, a recruiting officer from the Canadian Armed Forces, came and set up a booth in the common room. I walked by it one day and decided to hear what they had to say. I was told of all the great things you could do in the military (although they were there to promote one specific trade). Even so, the talk got to me. You see, for most of my teen years I became interested in music, having started to play as a percussionist in grade 9 and playing events with the bands offered in my school. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew it had to involve music. When I did some research and learned you could become a musician with the Canadian Forces, I was excited with the idea. To think; I could be playing jazz, symphonic, pop, rock or orchestral music and being paid to do it. With a secure pension, benefits for my future family and vacations every year. Not to mention showcasing my talent around the world, for many different cultures and individuals to hear. It would be a dream come true. I didn't hesitate after learning of this. I started my application at my local Recruiting Centre as soon as I could. But, there was a problem.........I hadn't finish high school yet so, I graduated in the spring of 2012 (19 now) and  I decided to do something that I problem will regret for the rest of my life........I returned to high school. Yes, I returned to high school, knowing full well I would be 20 years old by the time the year was done again. There were a few people who supported me and others who didn't. I was on a tightrope and I made a promise to myself; that this year would be the year that I take life-changing steps in my youth. Of course when I entered into the new school term in the fall, I was still 19. I wouldn't be 20 until the beginning of 2013 (January).

Now, it's October 2012, I was still trying to get into the Forces and I was working up the courage to ask out one of the many girls I had a crush on in school. I was never a talkative guy. I had a tight circle of friends and I pretty nervous when it came to smooth talking with the ladies. Anyway, I was making progress with my CF application and was preparing for my interview in the next couple of weeks. I wasn't, however, making progress with my dating life. When I finally managed to ask this girl out, she said "yes". I learned a few days later that I had passed the aptitude test and I qualified for my trade of choice (musician). I was thrilled. Things were starting to look up. But then.......not even a week later, the girl I had asked out ended up saying she just wanted to be friends and I found out that there were no musician openings until April of 2013. Just like that, my life felt crushed in one week. Another girl I knew (who I also had a crush on) was able to comfort me for awhile, but I ended up shutting her out and ignoring her feelings. After that, I ended up shutting everyone out. I didn't care what I did anymore. I was working two part-time jobs and was saving up for the band trip in March 2013.
I felt like that was the only thing I could look forward as a mature student in high school. All of my friends had graduated a year before I did and I didn't make a great attempt on meeting new people. With no one to really hang out with during my school hours, I went into a deep depression. By the time the band trip came around I thought I could at least have some fun with it. The trip was in New York City. Our senior band was to play in the famous Carnegie Hall for a Festival. On a Thursday (the day of the trip), I just got up, went to meet everyone and sat on the bus with another student. Upon arriving in the Big Apple, I had realized how alone I was now. I was miles away from my family, my friends and didn't have anyone who cared about me. It was the most depressing moment of my life. For 4 days and 3 nights I was completely in a state of self-loathing. When it finally came time to perform, I just didn't give two f**ks what I was doing. We played, stayed for another night and went home the following the Sunday. I got home, finished my Military application and finished the last few months of my returning year. By the time the summer rolled around I was only working two nights a week and not really enjoying most of my life. The only time I felt good was when I was able to hang out with my friends.

Now, fast-forward to the fall of 2013. Back working, five days a week, 4 hours a day. The auditions for the CF Musician openings were coming up in October, and I was determined to see it through. I received an email from a senior member of the Music Branch of the Forces, that I did not qualify for an audition. I was considered  not experienced  and was recommended more practice/lessons. This just destroyed me. After going through what seemed like hell for a year, it meant nothing. I had giving up a year of my life for nothing and I was starting to do it again. Trying not to let anything get to me, I worked up the strength to audition for my local symphony. I had emailed a letter to them in July 2013 and awaited a call, letter, email, or anything that would tell me I had a chance at being a musician. I heard nothing. I didn't hear anything back from them until November 2013. I was informed that all the spots had been filled..........and I was never given a chance. I came to conclusion that I didn't have the talent to be a professional musician and gave up on the idea of ever playing as a career. Now it's late 2013 and I'm re-doing my application for the Forces. This time I'm applying for a combat trade and 2 support trades. Did my interviews, tests and exams. Now I am awaiting to be merit-listed and still working at my shitty job, with shitty hours and living a shitty life. Still single and hanging out with my friends when I can, I really don't have much going on with my life. I still see some of my high school acquaintances and see some updates on my social feeds. Most of them are in school, in relationships and preparing for their future." Wow, I really screwed myself over", I thought to myself. If I had started saving for university/college after my grade 12 year, I could be where they are now. Instead, I made the stupid decision to go back to high school, and play at an event that I thought would help my music career. I shut everyone in my life out and started to hate myself. I felt like everyone gave up on me and that everyone was in it for themselves. What about me? Don't I deserve some sort of happiness? Why do I have to suffer so much? What did I learn from my many mistakes and unfortunate events?

I learned that I had it all wrong; I gave up on myself before I even really tried. I shut people out before I could let them in to understand. I ignored potential opportunities and focused on one path. I had really become what I never wanted to be; alone, afraid of the future and having a feeling of no use to people, or just being used by people. Now, present time. It's April 2014, and I am currently 21 years of age. Still regretting my past and not being able to forgive myself, I am fighting because, I realized what I had become and I didn't like it. I want to be through with being who I currently am and move on. I can't change anything that happened. I can only accept that it happened and learn from it. I'm sure there are many people in my current situation and that my story won't mean much to some, but I hope that in it's own way, that it reaches out to the people who feel as I do. I am still awaiting to hear back from the Forces (now that I am merit-listed), but I am not focusing on the Military anymore. I've decided to take another year or two off and save money to apply for the music program at my local university, or RMC (Royal Military College of Canada). I want to slowly change my ways and become a better person. Not just for me, but for the people around me. There's something you have to realize when dealing with depression; it doesn't just effect you, it effects everyone around you. Someone recently told me that you have to look at where you want to go in life and work your way back a bit. By doing so, you'll be able to see your current opportunities and what you can do for the moment. Know that hardship doesn't have to last forever, it only last as long as you make it. Start to better your life now and feel good knowing that you're working towards something greater. No matter what people say, achieve what you want to achieve. Just remember it may take longer than you expect. For all the applicants on this form, please do yourself a favor and work towards other things. You may be waiting a life time before you're accepted into the Forces. Look for new passions, and experience new things cause; isn't that what life is all about?