Week 09: Hey Girl, Can You Hear Me?

26 Feb – 4 Mar 17

I come from a family where you are told who you are and whom you’re supposed to be, what you’re good at and what you’ll fail in. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but sometimes it gets complicated when the person whom you’re supposed to be isn’t the same person whom you want to be. Take me, for example. My grandparents and my mom insist that I’d make a good lawyer because my only talents are speaking in English well and arguing with customer service representatives when the Internet is down. While those are talents that I do possess, they don’t necessarily lead to me wanting to become a lawyer. Don’t get me wrong; I want to be a lawyer, but given the freedom to choose my own career path, I would have rather spent the last five years on a pre-med course because I like helping people. If only they saw that I’m actually a kind-hearted person, instead of the evil, soulless bitch that they condemn me for being, things would be different. Unfortunately, they didn’t allow me to go to the pre-med school because that false persona of me didn’t fit in that environment.

I’m not going off-topic. I’m trying to explain how much I want to explore who I really am, and one of those unexplored aspects of myself is me wanting to be a singer. I’m not a good one, but I’d like to think that I’m not terrible, either. But that was one thing my family would never, not in a million years, list down as one of my two allowed talents because that talent was assigned to my sister, and anything I’d try to do that she already did, everyone would say she’s better by default. Let me illustrate.

Half a year ago, I wanted to sing at my grandparents’ anniversary celebration, in an effort to breaking the stigma that speaking in English was my only skill. My mom told me that I would only be distracting, and that I should leave it to my sister, who was bringing her chorale friends with her for a small performance. She eventually caved in, after pelting her daily with my determination to do it. For a while, I was excited because I’d finally be known for something else! Then I was nervous because I was beginning to believe that I wasn’t good enough to perform when they ignored all of my rehearsals. How I felt during those rehearsals didn’t matter in the end because on the day of the party, my mom told me not to sing. I cried out of an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, but my emotional moment was quickly disrupted when I was told that I was acting gay.

Today, I’m going to forget that I have a family that tells me who I am and whom I’m supposed to be, what I’m good at and what I’ll fail in, and just be myself. The result of that is a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Hey Girl” from her newest album Joanne. This is a one-take recording I made on my computer, using the earphones that came with my iPhone and a YouTuber’s guitar cover of the song. Although it’s a one-take recording, I’ve been practicing singing this non-stop in the car since the album came out. I was destined to put this here. LOL.

by Royce

PS Sorry for the lack of visuals. Like I said, I wasn’t allowed to sing during the event, so there are no photos of me singing.

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