Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Joined A Singing Competition

Last Friday on Nov 10th, I sang on stage and it was amazing.

As you might already now from my last post, I'm in a singing competition so after my performance from last Friday, I'm going to have to wait 'till the 24th to see if I get through to the final round or not.

I know I'm late but I really want to share my experience from this.
When I signed up for this local singing competition that I heard about, I was excited and I wanted to win so bad. So I practiced a lot. What I realized was, I sound better now than I used to. Way back when I was younger, all I wanted was to sing but I didn't understand my own vocal ability. I didn't know my range and I didn't know my own singing style. I tried so hard to sound like the singers that I listen to. I was rejected a lot of times from school auditions and I didn't understand why. It made me scared to even try anymore but now I understand that I shouldn't. I should just do better than the last time.
I felt like I'm ready now. In the process of practicing, I learned so much about my ability and what to do to sound the best. I learned that warming up my vocals and choosing the right song is very important. I've learned so much and I was so passionate about wanting to unlock more of my potential that I still don't know. I wish I could have a tutor though but so far, I only have YouTube.
I was confident and ready until the day before the performance. We were having a soundcheck day the day before at the place and that's where I listened to the other contestants. I realized I wasn't the only one who knew how to sing. I was scared and nervous. I was too focused on myself that I forgot about the others. I was pretty bummed all the way home on that day. I couldn't sleep that night. I started to become really nervous as the day next day started approaching.

The next day came. It was the day of my performance. I was still kind of bummed but I still did a lot of voice warm ups. I didn't practice much because I thought I already practiced enough and I didn't want to kill my voice that day.
I was really careful on what I ate and drank. No spicy food, oily food or even cold drinks. I was dead serious about not wanting to ruin my voice.That night I arrived early and I saw some of the people that I met before so I sat with them. It felt nice to actually talk to them again and be actual friends instead of only seeing them as a competition. We waited in this room before the show started and there was a karaoke machine there. What do you do when you have a bunch of singers and a karaoke machine in a room? That's right, we were singing. 

It's so funny how I bonded with them so quickly. I was less nervous as I started singing together with them. I loved the feeling. The feeling where I was surrounded with people that share the same passion as me. We were all really happy.

After messing around a little with the karaoke machine, we finally went out to get ready for our performances. Not gonna lie, I was so pumped when I saw the stage. I couldn't wait to sing. I know the others were talented too but I realized literally all of us were talented. We just have different strengths in our voices and different style of singing. I had no problem with that at all and I was glad that everyone was happy with what they do. I was too. I have loved singing since I was little and knowing that other people may be better won't stop my love for it.

It was finally my turn. When I was on stage I was like, "This is my time to shine," in my head. True enough, I wasn't nervous at all! The judges were literally in front of the stage and I felt nothing. All I knew was I had so much fun and those were the best performances I have ever done in my life so far. I don't know how I did but the crowds cheered when I finished and I saw a little smile from one of the judges.

When the night was over, I missed it already. I want to be on stage again and I want to meet my new friends again. They were so lovely. I understand now why the contestants in American Idol cried whenever one of them got eliminated. It was because friendships were built even when it's a competition. I want to do more of these and whenever I saw the opportunity again I'm very sure that I'm gonna grab it.

It's completely fine that I may not get through to the final, even though I'm hoping that I would but I'm already grateful for that night. All in all, I want to give glory to God for always helping me out and listening to my prayers. Shoutout to my friends and family too who constantly prayed for me. My friends knew how stressed and nervous I was days before the competition hahaha but yeah y'all are great. Special thanks to my boyfriend, Chris for encouraging me even though I ignored him the whole day on the day of the competition because I needed focus hahah sorry, babe. Thank you, Mel for telling me to chase my passion. Thank you, Grace for believing in me. And also Sasha, Kristina and Alyssa and so many people in the PDC who prayed for me.

And finally the biggest shoutout to my sister, Nora who sponsored my beautiful dress, makeup and all her energy to drive me back and forth till past midnight. I am very grateful.

What a journey. I can't wait to see more of what God is planning in my life.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

I Realized That I'm Pretty

Since this is the first post of this month, let me just say it. No, I didn't achieve my 10 posts per month for October. However, I wasn't actually disappointed with myself because when I looked back, I did 8 posts without actually feeling like it's a chore to do. I did that because I wanted to. Not that I didn't like doing it before but I finally started to feel like I'm blogging with ease and without pressure now. I didn't even realize I managed to do 8 to be honest. 8 for October. 8 for Oct. Get it? Because Oct means 8 in Latin? I don't know why the tenth month is called October by the way.

Anyhoo, I've had a lot of things going through in my mind lately about how I look. I went out with my family to watch Thor Ragnarok yesterday, which was awesome btw, and I now just realized... I am pretty. Okay that sounded silly but hear me out. It's just the way that people look at me whenever I'm in public. The way guys trying to catcall me wherever I go. I hated getting catcalled but there's a reason how I got their attention. Still not justifying their act because it's disgusting but I can see how people see me differently. I've seen the way people look at me almost all my life. Okay maybe not during my early teens (heavens no) but as I've grown older. They think I'm pretty. I don't want to admit it at first but I think... I think... I'm privileged?

I never liked that word but I can definitely tell that I've had it easier than most people. I can walk in a room and impress everyone by just my appearance. I have nothing to be scared because I can see from people's eyes how pleased they are at my presence. I don't act like Regina George from Mean Girls though where I walk everywhere like I own the place. I can, but I don't want to because deep down, I feel guilty. Guilty for the people around me that doesn't have it as easy as me. Even in college I was teased by my friends and calling me "hot stuff" because I was quite popular among the seniors.

I know looks aren't everything but it's a lie to say that it doesn't do anything. Being pretty does have some advantages to it. A guy lowered a price for a pair of jeans that I bought a while back because he thought I was pretty for goodness sake. Stuff like that happens a lot and I realized that a lot of times, I kinda liked the attention.

However, even though it's fun to be pretty, I chose not to be too dependant on my appearance alone on certain stuff. I people want to be friends with me than I will give them more reasons on why they should be friends with me. If I wanna impress a crowd I have to do more than just stand there and be pretty, that's why I wanted to be witty and funny. I even learned how to carry a good conversation. So yeah, those kinda things, Most of all, I will never ever make someone feel inferior to me by the way I treat them. Some already put me in a pedestal because they think I'm very pretty and talented so I want to break that. I want everyone to feel as confident as I am with themselves like how I feel with myself. I don't want people to get intimidated by me all the time.

I know one day my beauty will leave me and maybe I'd get sad because honestly, I really do love how I look like. Sure, I have some insecurities but I enjoyed being myself. However, at the same time, I don't want my legacy to just be "the pretty girl". I wanna be remembered as more than that and I hope I've been doing good so far.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Singers That Inspired Me

I know I'm mostly known as "the artist" wherever I go. Yeah I guess I am well-known with my talent in art but I do feel very passionate in singing too. I've been singing since I was a kid because for some reasons I loved it so much. I watched singers performed on TV and I remember thinking that I wanted to do that so bad. When I watched Malaysian Idol back then I've always imagined myself as one of the contestants... joining the audition.... getting all four YES'es from the judges 'till I reached the final round. For the longest time I hid my talents a lot though because I was so scared of performing in front of people 'till one day my family forced me to sing at this open karaoke going on at a relative's wedding. It went pretty bad but since then, it made me want to perform more and more. I posted here while back where I performed at a college's dinner event. I sang "Hero" by one of my biggest inspirations, Mariah Carey.

I do think I am talented but not skilled and experienced enough. I've never actually had singing classes except the one time in secondary school when I was in choir. 
I'm the girl who sings in my bedroom with my bluetooth microphone while imagining herself being on stage. Singing while trying to imitate her favorite singers that inspired her so much in her life.

I want to sing like Christina Aguilera. I want the soul and emotions that she brings whenever she sings a powerful ballad. I want to not only hold her notes likes she does but also feel all of them in my heart and soul. I want to make people cry like how she did when she sang "Hurt" or "Beautiful" or "The Voice Within" or so many of her songs that I could go on and on and on.

I want to sing like the legendary Whitney Houston from back then. I want a heartfelt first note that comes out of my mouth when I sing like how she sang "I Will Always Love You". I want a voice that shakes an entire audience in awe. I want the effortless vibrato that she held while carrying those hard high notes and how she swept everyone away. 

I want to sing like Mariah Carey from back in the days. I want to look like her on stage, just standing and not even have to dance to give an incredible performance. I want to make everyone stand on their feet by just my voice. I want her low notes, her high notes. I want her amazing head whistle and falsetto that blows everyone away. 

I want to sing like Demi Lovato. I want to be able to belt out like how she did when she sings. Although I enjoyed her pop songs, her powerful soul songs touched me the most. I aspire to sing songs like hers which includes "Skyscraper", "Stone Cold", "Father", "Nightingale" and so many more that are so emotionally moving. It's inspiring how she started out as a Disney artist to one of the top big singers out there. 

Those are my biggest inspirations in singing and if you noticed, they are mostly soul singers with big voices. I may not be as the same level as them. Probably will never be in a million years... but they are my biggest inspirations in my singing and I just hope I could be at least half as good as them when I perform. If I were able to meet my inspirations I wouldn't even know how to begin on thanking them for inspiring me. I probably would just cry at the thought of them helping me without actually knowing me. I could never meet Whitney Houston anymore obviously but she will always be the legendary singer that I look up to.

Which is why I have decided to sign up for a local singing competition a few days ago. I did it. I signed up. There's no turning back now. I hesitated at first but when I saw the prize I thought of how much I needed that money... especially right now. Then I thought, maybe I could have the opportunity to win but even if I don't, I can finally do what I dreamed to do since I was a little kid. I want this. I want this so much. 

I can't thank God enough for this opportunity and I'm praying and praying that everything will go well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Career Choice

Not gonna lie, I'm still worried about the fact that I'm 22 and still thinking about my career choice. I have this envy with my friends' success and how they are moving really great in their lives. Let's be real, we all compare our lives with other people's. That's what we do. But when I think about it, if I switch places with those people I envy with one day, I don't I would ever be truly happy anyway. I know now that there's a reason why I'm me and they are them.

Art has always been a part of my life. I'm a freelance fine artist and I love what I'm doing right now. Although I'm still figuring out to do more with these, I'm actually enjoying my life right now.

Of course, my relatives and my friends will always take the chance to bring up the topic on how I should start thinking about a "real job" because apparently what I do may not be enough to pay the bills for them.
I hate -wait, no- I despise the feelings I'm getting whenever they bring these up. All the career interrogation in my life. It left me in a state of anxiety and panic.
I just wish that people would get their nose out of my life. Literally everyone I know is afraid of the future and what's gonna happen to them and I really think that we should work together to not freak each other out by raising questions like these.

Whether I'm gonna find a good job or not, it's never okay to ask why I don't have a job right now. Heck, it's never okay to ask that to anyone about it because :-
  1. You think they aren't already thinking about it every second of the day? 
  2. Nobody wants to be unemployed by choice so you don't need to remind people of their failures ok
  3. It feels like you're talking down to them because your life is so good and now they just feel worthless
  4. Just please stop asking about it. It's a sensitive subject will you just ask about memes or any other fun questions please
All in all, I'm grateful that my family is very supportive in what I do. They helped me through college and that's where I learned more skills than I could ever imagine and they also understand I can no longer mentally and physically further my studies to a Degree in Fine Arts anymore.
I barely, if ever, asked any money from my parents once I got out of college and that's something I'm proud of.
I know I should figure out to do more than just these but I just hope I don't have all these pressure from other people to begin with.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Can Men and Women Just be Friends?

Hey there, you.
Now, let's say that you're in a relationship. Everything is great. Your partner loves you and you love them. You two make each other so happy... until one day, your partner told you that they are going to hang out with a friend.
Of the opposite sex.
Just the two of them.
Without you.
Now, of course you don't want to be a jerk and forbid your partner to go. That could be a really good friend who just came to town and they haven't met each other for so long.

You got nervous. Why?

Deep down, you're worried that maybe there's going to be an attraction going on between them.
However, they're just friends though, aren't they?

Before I continue, I just need to tell this that it is so naive to have this mindset where our partner will never be attracted to anyone else or shouldn't be attracted to anyone else at all. That can harm our way of thinking which then makes us want our partner to avoid the basic instinct, that is to become attracted to attractive qualities in other people.

Now, I believe that we hang around people that we find attractive. You can be attracted with someone's physical appearance, thoughts, communication skills or the way they carry themselves. It could be anything that attracts us to certain people.
It's just not realistic to assume that we will never ever be attracted to qualities in anyone else besides our partner.

This however, has nothing to do with our loyalty. Loyalty is something we work on when we're in a relationship and has nothing to do with the friendships that we have.

It's okay to go out and choose friends where even though you wouldn't admit it, had some level of attraction going on. It doesn't mean you're gonna do anything about it. That just means it's why you chose them as a friend in the first place. You're attracted with their qualities, yes. However, that doesn't mean you want them over your partner.

What I'm trying to say is, even though I believe men and women can just be friends, it's very naive to assume that they won't be attracted with each other.

At the end of the day the question isn't about "Can men and women just be friends?"
It's about "Are they willing to just be friends?"

So, don't try to surpress your partner for their basic instinct to be attracted with other people. Learn about loyalty with each other instead.

Your partner's loyalty isn't defined by how many people they're not attracted to. It's defined by the amount of people they can be attracted to and still be loyal to you.
Still be in a relationship to you.
Still be faithful to you.

My boyfriend, Chris with his best friend of 3 years, Missy

Friday, October 20, 2017

Do I Really Want Kids?

This isn't my kid lol
I know what I've said before.
I said that I would probably never have kids. I never had the desire actually. Whenever my friends talked about being a mother one day, they got so excited. The subject lit their face up. Sure enough, two of my close friends have become a mother now. However, I never relate to their excitement. I was the one who never felt anything on the subject on becoming a mother or even just talking about babies. But of course, I had to pretend to think that babies are cute or what kind of monster would I be, right? Real talk, though. All mewborn babies look the same like what am I supposed to feel? I can't say that to people though gosh that would horrible.

So, for the longest time I've always felt that I'd probably never become a mother. That was one of many things that made me insecure to be in a relationship. (In case you're wondering, yes I told Chris about this already)

I mean, that's what I thought.

Over the past month, I honestly felt like God kept speaking to me through little things. I went to this fancy dinner with my uncle and my niece. There, I noticed a young woman holding a little girl's hand. She was not more than 5 years old, I think. That little girl was beautiful. She wore a blue dress, long curly hair and big brown eyes...and if course, she's half-white. (Good sense of humour there, God. ayy)
I don't know when I saw them walking and laughing together, something just tugged my heart on that sight.

You thought my feelings would stop there? I wish.

Everywhere I went, I saw something that made me have this strong nurturing feelings like seeing cute baby and mother videos on Twitter or when that one baby I said hi at church grabbed my pinky and wouldn't let go.

I even act a little different with my niece and my little cousin now. I feel like wanting to protect them from any harm. I listened about what happened on their days and answered their silly little questions.

I knew it was God speaking to me.

I don't know what to feel.
It's not that I'm ready to be a mother right now, anyway.
Why am I just feeling all these now?
I'm so confused. I don't even trust my judgement anymore. I thought I was this way but well, turns out I'm the other way. I guess as we grow up, our mentality grows too. It's hard feeling changes though when you've been comfortable with how you identified yourself a certain way and turns out it's not really who I think I am.

I know I would get over this though because I know my identity is supposed to be in God. Not what I label myself or who I think I'm supposed to be. Still, having an identity crisis is so not fun.

Would I want to have kids? I genuinely don't know. I'm still scared at the thought of pregnancy and giving birth but hey literally anything could happen in the future. God has planned my future and I'm sure this is just a little beginning of my very big journey I've yet to walk on.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Single Vs. In A Relationship

Photo by Lauren Mackler

You know what's worse than annoying cheesy couples on social medias?
People who complain about being single every 5 minutes.
I tried to avoid talking about this since it's "easy for me to say because I'm in a relationship" but you know what? I'm not going to sit around and let people tell to shut up just because of our differences in situations.
I get it. I was single before. I know how it feels like. You know what else I know? The fact that a person can be stubborn on actually listening to any sort of advice at all. Why? Because they've already listened to everything. They are already fed up with the "You would meet someone one day," "Enjoy in your singleness," and also the famous "God is saving someone special for you."
It doesn't matter. Whatever you say will make them roll their eyes even harder anyway. All they want is to have a significant other right this second. I get it.
But it totally comes to a point where it gets annoying to see these people in their bitterness and self pity.
I just want to clarify that the occasional joke with the "forever alone" meme can be pretty funny sometimes. I did that too back then. This post I'm doing right now isn't about these people. I'm talking about the people who are constantly feeling bitter with the world because they're single. It's hard to find joy in them in all those desperation that I get so annoyed whenever I see their tweets on my Twitter feed. At times they even throw in some stuff about how it's better to be single anyway because they don't need someone to make them whole like all those people that are in a relationship. I literally saw a tweet like that earlier today I'm not even kidding.
First of all, whether you're single or in a relationship, no one is superior than the other. Second of all, if you have that "I don't need someone to make me whole" attitude in the first place, you wouldn't have been so bitter about being single. Just saying.
Look, all I'm saying is I do understand about wanting to be in a relationship but it becomes a problem when your life only revolves around that one thing only. I have experience with that situation and ended up with someone nice only for the sake of being in a relationship. Don't make it an idol. It's not fair for the person you're gonna end up with when they found out you were desperate for them just because you couldn't stand being single.
There really is more to life than just being in a relationship and I wish I can get through to people about this. Heck, you may be a happier person than the ones who are in a relationship right now. However, whether I say it or not, it all starts with people's attitude towards it anyway.

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