Tag: music paves the way

It’s more then just a concert: My thoughts on Manchester

I just returned from a vacation in New Orleans but writing about that just doesn’t feel right at the moment. Since the tragedy in Manchester happened it hasn’t left my mind.

I love going to concerts, so much so I’d probably list it as a hobby. I love music and there is NOTHING like seeing it performed live. It’s not even just about being in close proximity to the artists, or admiring their talent. Music is expression and going to a concert is the ultimate expression of joy and solidarity.

Once when I saw Beyonce at the Rose Bowl I posted on facebook that it felt like I was going to church. You’re in a building with people filled with pure joy and excitement . No one is worrying about how they are going to be perceived. I dance my ass off and sing my heart out, smile, cry, the songs COME TO LIFE.

Music in itself ALREADY has an element of life and spirit to me. Songs and albums speak my soul, good or bad, they give me an outlet to express everything. Music is EVERYTHING to me. So a concert is the ultimate expression of it. And guess what? You’re with 100’s or 10,000+ people that feel THE EXACT way you do. They’re there to be in a place where you all share this commonality…the joy of the artists, the music and all the life it brings.

EVERY concert I have ever attended has been one of the happiest moments of my life for this exact reason. And it’s why I keep going back, why I go alone to them most times. Because nothing is going to stop me from experiencing that oneness. I never feel more like I belong then in those moments. I am with people that understand just HOW much this means to me, and its a gift.

Which is why I find what happened extra horrifying. A moment of peace and pure joy completely shattered and destroyed and turned into something so ugly I can’t even comprehend it. The media focuses on the teen girls and young people in the place and yes that does make up the majority of her audiences. But I assure you, there were all kinds of people there who were just as happy and joyous to be there. People like me, parents, boys, men…the joy is infectious.

I saw Ariana when she was here last month. My boyfriend happened to go with me to that show. But do you know every other concert I’ve been to in the last 5 or so years has been ALONE. I’ve seen Taylor 3x, Ariana 1x and Beyonce all alone. I’m supposed to see Katy Perry in October…alone. And I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t scared. Scared of what could have happened, or what could happen. Worried that my moment of peace has been forever shattered along with many other fans out there.

My heart breaks for everyone that had to experience that night and everyone that didn’t make it. I can’t even begin to imagine. It makes me want to help, but I feel helpless and it makes me scared.

But isn’t that the point? To terrorize us into changing who we are and abandon what we love out of fear? They discount the human spirit, they underestimate US. It may not be immediate but they can’t stop our joy and our freedom of expression.

“Be Alright”

Midnight shadows
When finding love is a battle
But daylight is so close
So don’t you worry ’bout a thing

We’re gonna be alright [3x]

Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
That every little thing is gonna be alright
Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
We decide it

We’re gonna be alright [3x]

In slow motion
Can’t seem to get where we’re going
But the hard times are golden
Cause they all lead to better days

We’re gonna be alright [3x]

– Ariana Grande

“Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith”

Elizabeth Gilbert describes them as “art scars”. Emotional scars that you got at some point while you were trying to express your creativity. It goes deeper then that for me.

I have loved singing since before I could remember. I did it non-stop as a child. I was born with a clef palate, when they were repairing something happened and low and behold I ended up with a speech impediment.  It shaped who I am as a person and how I express and see myself.

So yeah, despite this, I have always loved singing. But then I became a teenager and I stopped. I had a lot of bullies growing up and in 7th grade I realized that if I was QUIET and INVINCIBLE I was SAFE.

People can’t make fun of your voice if they can’t hear you talk.
black-guy-thinking

So into the shell I went and I’ve been suffocating ever since. I held fast to every negative criticism I had ever received about my voice (and self in general). I told myself over and over again that I was not supposed to sing, i wasn’t even supposed to want to. Funny how your heart and brain just refuse to agree sometimes.

I don’t like driving (ask my bf. that is an understatement) but the ONE THING I always loved about driving was that I got to be ALONE in my car and SING MY ASS OFF.  It was my safe haven, literally the only place I would allow myself to sing.

Then my mom and sister passed away…

Do you sense a theme here?

Yes, their deaths were a HUGE catalyst to the person I am and becoming currently. Nothing wakes your ass up like watching 2 people you love leave this earth. Nothing makes you realize, “Hey….I don’t have all the time in the world..” like that.

It still took me two years to go to a vocal class. I literally agonized over it every week for 2 years, trying to convince myself that it was an utterly insane and stupid thing to do. WHY THE HELL WOULD I DO THAT?! I sing in my car, not in front of other human beings. I used to as a bitty kid but not anymore.

Nag, nag, nag the thought went. I went on Yelp and found a school that was on my way home from work. I read the description by the head of the school, it just spoke to me. That made me want to go there, but, she (Olivia) intimidated me because she had been an American Idol finalist...so I didn’t choose her as my instructor.

My first class was terrifying, I barely made any noise. I got slightly comfy with teacher #1 and then. she left. So a new instructor was given to me, a guy, he was really cool and I was more comfy with him…then he left. Then came the 3rd one, I really liked her a lot and felt myself somewhat progressing…I’ll give you one guess what happened…SHE LEFT.

So about now my brain is telling, “Um, Malinda, yeah…maybe you need to stop this madness. 3 instructors have left and now you’re going for #4.” I had literally just paid for another month of classes when instructor #3 left me, so I had to at least finish out the classes.

They put with me Olivia. I was SO scared and intimidated to have her teach me. The universe makes shit happen for a reason though guys. Because I have progressed more in 4 lessons with Olivia then I did with the months and months and months of all the other instructors. She’s amazing and her energy just meshes with mine. What if I had stopped going when instructor #3 quit?!

nevergiveup
(On a good day I can remember this..)

It’s still been pulling teeth for Olivia to get me to sing. I was never able to really go “all the way” and sing like I sing in the car with any of the others. And when I’d say, “I can do it better by myself” I always felt like they were thinking, “Surrreee..”

But TODAY I WAS ABLE TO SING. I got it out, I did it like I do it in the car. Her and I were both so excited. I fight a mental battle against the past when it comes to this and it makes me unable to express myself. Or it tries, now I am actively attempting to combat that.

SAFETY does not make me HAPPY. SAFETY makes me MISERABLE. 

I should get that tattooed on me.

I’m just so proud of myself at the moment. 🙂

BTW the song I’m working on currently is “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, hence the title.

Dreaming of you

Dreaming of you

Last night after our Cinco de Mayo dinner my boyfriend and I were channel surfing and happened across Selena. As a young Mexican girl that movie and Selena were instant cult worship-worthy. My parents used to watch Don Francisco (even though my dad doesn’t speak spanish…..) and they were way into Selena before she was cool. (I’m joking there, but they did like her way before she blew up.)

I have been sick was a supposed “viral throat infection” since Tuesday. I say supposed because I think the doc diagnosed me wrong. I wake up every morning super congested and feeling like doodoo. This morning was no exception. So I woke up around 9am and was able to fall back asleep around 10am. Then I had a dream with my sister Mercy.

In 2014 my mom and sister passed away within 6 months of each other. My mother passed away in March a week before her birthday, my sister passed away in October the day after my own birthday. This fact shapes a lot of who I am, and my current “journey”. It also is a source a depression, sadness (and still) upheaval in my life. You’re going to hear about them a lot. I’m much better then I was, but I’m still not “ok”. I may never be “ok”.

I have 3 older sisters but my sister Mercy (yes that’s her real name) was closest to me in age and by far the only true best friend I have ever had. (I’m the youngest in the family)  My sister was 38 when she passed away, she was born with a congenital heart defect and had many open heart surgeries. The doctors said she’d live 6 months so…I guess 38 years is damn good.

See that is what I’m supposed to say. “We were lucky to have her as long as we did.” “I’m lucky I even got to know her” “She’s at peace now and now sick” All true, but fuck that shit man…I lost my BEST FRIEND. Just writing that has me crying my eyes out. This shit isn’t a Hallmark card. My advice when dealing with people that have lost someone is to say “I am here for you, to listen to you”, “I love you”. DON’T give me the above statements. Hell maybe it’s just me…maybe I’m the only one that can’t stomach the “They’re in a better place” shit. Mind you, I BELIEVE THAT, wholeheartedly, but it doesn’t change the fact that I want my sister HERE with me, living my life with me. I want to text her and call her and send her funny meme’s. I want to talk about Total Divas with her and tell her all I’ve done and been up to. AND I CAN’T. I can, I talk to air, but she can’t respond to me.

Wow, I really derailed this post. But all of this is actually related. Sorry, I literally don’t tell anyone else the stuff above besides my boyfriend. Because I feel like I can’t…

So yes, I had a dream with her. I don’t remember the beginning clearly. I know I was talking to her and dumping out makeup bags. I just know at one point she showed me a video and it was of us putting gas in her car. I think it was when we were still going out. In the video I’m acting silly and just generally super happy. But then she says oh I think there’s something else at the end. Then the camera flips and its my sister in NYC. She’s like at a souvenir store goofing off trying on silly hats. Then I wake up from the dream.

My sister visited a lot of places but as far as I remember NYC wasn’t one of them. My interpretation of this dream… 1. she knows I miss her. I am dead serious last night before I went to bed I thought to myself, “I haven’t had a dream with them in awhile.”. So, she came to visit. Also, with her being in NYC I think she’s trying to tell me she’s still alive exploring. Because my sister went A LOT of different places in her life. She was a free spirit…I’m trying to be like her but it’s hard.

Now we circle back to the title, “Dreaming of you” by Selena. See…it all kind of made sense.