Months ago, I was preparing my research paper for my honors thesis, and I compiled a list of sources that I sorted through and summarized. After switching to a MacBook, I lost all of my work because I wasn't familiar with the system. It was traumatizing -- I legit teared up.
But I still managed to finish the paper and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I suddenly became interested in Asian American identity and got the opportunity to chat with 10 friends who self-identify as Asian American/Canadian. I wrote an 18-pager even though I was only supposed to write 8-12 pages. I completed my presentation to the department and my class. And today, I just found out that I won $100 in the Gender Studies Writing Contest in Calvin College. Almost teared up too. JK I was about to throw a dance party but that would be inappropriate at a senior sendoff event.
When I was first forced (lol) into Annex Voices leadership, I was pretty terrified at the prospect of leading without any jazz background and knowledge. The first month of the spring semester proved to be especially challenging as we couldn't recruit enough members, with previous members dropping out throughout the first few weeks.
While we used to have around 15 members, 10 remained this year. It was a struggle to lead with such a diverse group of personalities working together. We struggled early on with the pieces, and even had a tough time looking for an accompanist. Nevertheless, we pulled through and performed at Dance Marathon, Thorneapple Jazz Festival, and our Spring Concert - where we sang without music for the first time. I screwed up my solo piece and started over again, which is fine and dandy (no it isn't). Yet, the kind audience, tiny but mighty, blessed us with a standing ovation. My first ever standing ovation and I legit almost cried (if there's any takeaway from this, it is that I am an almost-cry baby).
Back in Fall semester, I found out that they weren't going to offer the one class I needed to graduate. My advisor offered me an alternative that I did not want to hear: to take the advanced production class (which I didn't have the pre-requisite for). I signed up to be a film studies student, not a film production student, for a reason, which is why I was upset going into the spring semester.
As production began, so began the long, tiring hours of filming. It was taxing, but I had a cool crew that made it fun and easier. As the months went by, I began to be increasingly excited with our project. Then, last week, we were hit with some seriously terrible news. We weren't able to showcase our movie at the media showcase. I was so bummed. All of our hard work for nothing?
We worked to come up with a solution, and we were offered to have a private screening of the movie instead. I, unfortunately, missed it because I am an idiot and overcommitted myself. Nevertheless, I heard from the rest of my team that the screening was packed and received amazing feedback.
I legit... smiled like a gigantic idiot.
It's crazy how the things I dreaded 4 months ago turned out to be some of the most rewarding experiences I am having today. Perseverance is a tough habit to develop. Some days you might wait for 4 months to reap the reward, other days it might be well over 50 years, and still some days there are dead ends. But how sweet the reward tastes when it comes out of something I once thought to be bitter, especially after a long wait. My perspective in life is being expanded day after day, and that is such a blessing.