Don’t say No to yourself

Dear Dayre,

Friday passed by in a blur: but Friday night was a good one. Met at Dempsey for a special occasion with old friends that are among YZ's best buds and we always have a lot of common topics that keep us talking late into the night.

Sometimes, I really feel that YZ should go out more and spend more time with his friends and buddies, instead of it just being the two of us day in day out cos I don't want him to lose contact with previously close friends.

YZ and Alfred on stage singing.

This whole clique of friends are all singers and musicians and most of them do it on a professional level and sing/gig regularly. It's pretty fun when everyone gets together cos it's like a massive sing song party hahaa.

Singing has been one of my passions since I was young but I've never pursued it to the next level because well, I'm already involved in soooo many things! Right now, my main commitments are blogging, TVD, choir, and teaching pop vocal class.

What was your childhood ambition?

I first started singing when I was really tiny, cos my mom's a huge ktv singer and singing has been something all my sisters and I enjoyed since young. Lol the first pop song I remember learning how to sing and being my "主打歌" was "潇洒走一回" LOL anyone remembers this song??

We'd tag along with my parents to KTV pubs to sing with mummy while daddy played pool and drank. We still do it sometimes nowadays.

I've always secretly harbored dreams of really being a singer, and sang my way through choir in primary school and secondary school. I even had my own band for a couple of years in secondary school and we were called "The Midnight Supper Club" and did mostly English pop covers. That was also the period of time I learnt guitar and piano by bugging friends around me to guide me and teach me.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of my dad breaking my beloved guitar right in front of me when I was in Secondary 3 due to my poor results 😭

The guitar was a $200 Yamaha acoustic and it wasn't very expensive or very good by any means, but I spent hours and hours back then practicing guitar everyday til my fingers were seasoned and hard.

I was so sad when Daddy broke my guitar and I spent an afternoon crying with anger and sorrow after our fight.

As for the piano, I didn't own one at home, but there was an old broken down piano in a quiet stairwell of my school and I frequently haunted that stairwell in the mornings before assembly, during recess times and in the afternoons after school.

One of my seniors played the piano SO well and I was enamored. I made him teach me my favourite Final Fantasy and Richard Clayerman pieces, and picked up others by myself, by painstakingly reading the music scores note by note and memorizing the piece.

I love the piano so much that now that I'm able to afford it by my own means, I bought an electronic keyboard a few years ago for myself despite not really knowing how to play it that well.

After graduating from secondary school, I went to design school in NYP, and didn't have much time to spend on music anymore, save the occasional KTV singing. My then poly classmate loved singing so much that she wanted to sign up for pop vocal class and asked me if I would go audition with her, so I did.

That began the start of a two years "Artiste Development Programme" class that I took under a renown songwriter/singer, and despite still being a student, I paid for my school fees of $280 and subsequently $380 every month, and spent hours and hours in class with my very strict mentor, doing stuff like singing in the recording studio until the wee hours of the morning, practicing for performances and even going on radio a few times to sing live.

By the way, that school is also the one where I'm teaching pop vocals part-time: just to help out.

That was the time my classmates went to take part in a 民歌餐厅 singing competition, and I met YZ, who was helping his friend to manage at the cafe part-time.

It sounds extremely dramatic, but I left the music school after getting together with YZ because I had a conflict with my mentor who was intending to groom me into a singer/artiste and we had issues over my getting into a relationship.

Shortly after, I joined the SYC Ensemble Singers the following year (2007) because I missed getting to sing regularly very much and I wanted to do something different from pop music, so I decided to try my luck to email in to ask about auditions at a few choirs.

SYC was the only choir to respond to my email, and I went for an audition with embarrassingly zero knowledge of how to read music and an old choir piece from secondary school: I have no idea why they accepted me 😂

Surprisingly, this is my 7th year in the choir already (OMG.. I am so old) and somehow I've managed to get by with my zero music reading skills hahahaha

Taking a break now: time to teach class!

It was only when YZ and I took part in the televised singing competition together that I got back into contact with my mentor/老师 who happened to be one of the judges for that show.. And YZ and I actually made it all the way to the finals but we ended up getting third place because of bad circumstances, he forgot his lyrics and I'd lost my voice for a week 😭

Nonetheless it was really an experience for the two of us to take part in a competition together even though we quarreled a lot too 😂

In many ways, YZ is really my soul mate. And especially when it comes to singing, our voices just complement each other's voices. It's quite an amazing thing.

So I am indeed lucky to have someone that I can share my passion for singing with in this lifetime.

Those who've been following me for some time would know how YZ surprised me with a proposal while I was on stage for a gig, and then serenaded me with the song "天使".. 😂 Music is still very much a big part of my life and our time together.

KTV is our favourite past-time!

But we are long past our prime and youth.. Past that time of fervent dreams and pursuit of passions.

Why I'm reflecting on all these right now is because we were discussing about the upcoming Project Superstar competition that's coming up this year and some of our friends are thinking of joining, and YZ would love for us to give it a shot too, because there is no age limit this time round.


Mixed feelings though. Should we really?

It's not like I don't already have enough on my plate as it is. All my commitments are time-consuming enough as it is.

Whilst discussing this topic, Kewei said something to me that really did make me think twice, though.

Don't be the one to say "No" to yourself. Just try and if you're not cut out for it, let someone else tell you "No" instead.

Don’t say no to yourself, because there are plenty of other people who will gladly say no to you. Don’t say no to yourself, because if you say no to yourself, who do you expect to say yes?

If you think of the whole big range of possibilities available to you in the world, saying no to yourself just closes off avenues that may lead to your happiness. So say yes to yourself, and at least you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to get where you want to go.

Get out there and go for the “Yes,” and don’t ever say “No” to yourself.

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