Madison Barker’s Farewell


Madison Barker , Staffer

    I love lists. That release of tense air as you cross bullet points off your list is such a gratifying feeling. But 2018 taught me that you can’t always write everything down and expect to get it all done. Things happen unexpectedly that you can’t plan for. I experienced a lot of surprises this year, being a devout surprise-hater, it was an adjustment. But I am so grateful for those surprises and how they shaped me into the person that I am. A few words of advice, when you are stressed about situations in your life, don’t channel that stress into self-detriment and hate towards yourself. If you stop and take a breath every once in awhile, you’ll feel a lot better. Write things down, make a list of what you need to get done, and it will show you that it really isn’t as much as you thought. Study, plan everything out, and start getting all of your tasks done little by little.

    To Fall, ah, the smell of sweat and the constant rhythm of the metronome still resonates within me. You brought me a new set of challenges that fostered my growth as a leader and a person.  You have taught me how to channel my anxiety and fears when I need to confidently approach a situation. Giving me a role in which I need to foster my ability to let loose and have fun rather than focusing on being stressed and always pushing ahead, you taught me to enjoy the moment. I wish I knew not qualifying for BOA Austin finals would help motivate us for the rest of the season, and that we were going to accomplish so much more because we all focused our disappointment into efficient practices. I learned to trust my peers, to fully understand that we are all working towards one goal, and that everyone is in the same boat as me. We are all pushing through classes and still making band a priority to ensure success for the team. I became a dancing queen and experienced huge success both as part of the band and an individual. My band became 2A Class Champions at the hardest band contest in the nation, and we got to perform last at the finals performance in the Alamodome in front of thousands. Sharing that historic moment with the people that went through this journey with me was a triumph in itself. A few weeks later, I competed in a solo contest, TMEA Region, on a new instrument and advanced to the next phase, Area.

    To Winter, thank you. You re-instilled a sense of confidence in me as a musician. Through the Area contest, on an instrument that I had played for 2 months, it was the defining factor that hard work can trump time. I placed third among the best bass clarinetists in Texas, most who had been playing their instrument for years. I saw the results of friendships that I hadn’t focused enough energy on.  I had to accept the fact that not everyone comes into our lives for a positive reason, but they have the potential to impact us after they’re gone. I believe that everything happens for a reason though, and through a relationship that was destroying me more than I had thought, I took a step back. While it took some sadness and realization for me to understand what that friendship was doing to me, I was able to reach a place where I was happy and content.

    To Spring, you have been the time when I finally understand that junior year is the hardest. It is the combined effect of being a teenager, having extracurriculars and classes. I wish that you would slow down. You are showing me just how unprepared I am for my final year. I’m comfortable with being comfortable, and as time is continuing, I am slowly getting more uncomfortable with what lies ahead. You are making me realize that there are people I shouldn’t have taken for granted, because in a few short months, they won’t be as present in my life as they have been. You’ve shown me that I am not sure what I want to do with my life and that I have to be okay with that.

     I can’t imagine living my life without the people that have made some of these years the best I’ve lived. I can’t seem to grasp the fact that these people that take up our entire life now, are just a small percentage of the memories and experiences we will live. While I may not be sure where exactly my life will take me, I need to get comfortable with the unsureness. I have lived my life in a bubble of routine and structure, but that bubble is going to burst. It’s inevitable. My life has so much more purpose past Rouse High School.  I’m excited to see what lies ahead, but I’ve begun to understand why adults tell us that we should “stay young for as long as we can.” Growing up is terrifying, but I am so excited to see the person I become and the things I will accomplish.