When I was a little girl, my dream was to become the new Taylor Swift, but growing up in an Asian household made that dream feel like it was no more than a fantasy. I grew up with "college is your first priority" being drilled into my head.
So, I made sure I got good grades in school, but one day when I was five years old, I ended up writing my first song (and little did I know that I would never stop writing).
My mom found out about the song one day while she was cleaning my room while I was in class at my elementary school. When I came home after riding the bus, I saw that my secret box of songs was out of its hiding spot and opened in the center of my room. Multiple pieces of paper were scattered all around my mom on the floor, with one in her hand. She had been reading my songs, one by one. I tensed up. I was furious that she was reading my songs without my permission. My songs were very personal to me, and I felt like she was invading my privacy.
So ever since, I told her that I stopped writing -- but that was a lie.
More than ten years later, here I am, nervous as hell to let her listen to a song I wrote a couple years ago during my senior year of high school. As she was listening, I saw that she was vibing with it! And at the end she said, "I love it!" But it took her awhile to comprehend the fact that I actually wrote it -- the lyrics, the melody, everything. Then I opened up to her and told her what I plan to do with the money that I've been saving up for the past few months.
I told her that I want to buy myself a mini music studio for my room.
Deep down, I knew that she would support me 100%. But then she said, "We need to show your dad when he gets home [from work]." I started feeling uneasy. Convincing my dad to allow me to pursue music was not going to happen. There was just no way that I could ever make him believe that pursuing music (even just for fun) is a smart thing for me to do. When dinner came around that night, my mom didn't hesitate to inform my dad that I have a song for him to listen to. If I was nervous when my mom was listening to it for the first time, I was definitely cringing and wanted to fall off a cliff when my dad was listening to it. I was embarrassed, because I knew that he would be 100% against me being a songwriter, considering the fact that college is supposed to be my one and only priority.
But his reaction was something that I will never forget, and his words would change my life forever.
The first thing that he said after the song was done playing was, "It's like a Taylor Swift song!" That was the best compliment that he could have ever given me! Taylor Swift has been my idol since day one, and the fact that my dad compared my song to her's is unbelievable. Then he added, "I will donate $500 for your music studio." That blew my mind! I was speechless, and I knew right then, that my dream of pursuing music would finally become a reality. The reason why he specifically said $500 was because that was the amount that I had secretly saved up at that time, and now with the help of his money, I will be able to pay for more than just the bare minimum that a studio requires! I've been asking him for an acoustic/electric ukulele as an early birthday present because the $500 that I saved up didn't include the ukulele. So now, it will be added to my music studio!
The thought of opening up to my parents (my dad in particular) always scared me, and it did for more than ten years. My parents worked hard to be able to move to the United State from the Philippines and to provide for their children in ways their parents couldn't for them.
So, my dad always pushed for my brother and I to go to college and made us believe that we can't find good, stable jobs without a college degree. This is why I was scared to open up to him. I didn't think that he would take me seriously when I said that I write songs and wanted to release them out into the world. But music is my passion, and I guess he understood that when he heard my song.
If you have a dream that you feel like you can't achieve, I strongly urge you to try your best to achieve it.
You won't regret it! In fact, you'll be glad that you did! If I had never opened up to my parents, I don't think I would have ever found the nerve to do so in the future, and therefore, would never have the amazing opportunity to share my music with the world now. If I can do it, so can you.
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