Everybody has fears, whether they admit it or not. From fear of heights or the dark, the list goes on; it would take all day to list them all. However, one of the greatest fears I share with my fellow humans is the fear of rejection. Every day, we face the fear of being rejected, because who wants to be unwanted by others? All we want is to be accepted and to feel a sense of approval, comfort, trust, humility, or love. We push ourselves to the limit in an effort to be liked by others and to fit in. Sometimes we force ourselves to become this image that other people want us to be. Instead of listening to our own heart, we do the opposite and do what others want us to do, and we lose ourselves in the process. One may experience rejection in many ways, whether it’s from a friend or a romantic partner and the resulting emotions can be painful. However, the most painful form of rejection I have felt is from family.
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always tried to please my parents. Hearing them say that they are proud of me is music to my ears. I love making them proud and would go to great lengths to gain their praise. My parents have always been invested and involved in my academics. They have valued my studies more than anything else and made sure I felt the same way. Whenever I would get a lower score than usual on a test, they would scold me and claim that I was having too much fun instead of studying enough at home. This was in fact not true because I barely ‘had fun’ and spent most of my time working. However, I was young, so I just listened and didn’t know how to speak up for myself. An ongoing theme is being told that I needed to excel in my science classes because I would need that knowledge in the future when I became a successful doctor.
When I discovered singing, it was a fun hobby that I could do in the car while listening to the radio. When I joined my school choir, I started to be more and more serious about singing and realized that I enjoyed it a lot. Whenever I brought up a new song I learned in the choir class to my parents, they never really paid attention and told me to not spend so much time on singing, since it was just a hobby. As I started to sing more and more, I discovered that singing was definitely one of my biggest passions in life and something I wanted to pursue in the future. Knowing how my parents felt about my hobby, I hid my feelings and started writing my own music when they weren’t home. Singing and songwriting were something that made me feel like I was in my own world, a place where nothing else mattered.
After a long while, I finally had the courage to tell them about me potentially pursuing singing in the future. When they heard the idea, they turned it down and called me crazy. They claimed that singing was useless and would never lead me to success in the future. They explained that I would end up on the street and be a disappointment to the family. At this moment, I felt confused as to why they were being so unsupportive. I thought they were my family. Your family is supposed to be there for you when times get tough and support you because they are blood. They were the closest people I had in life, and their attempts to diminish my dreams as worthless and stupid, made me feel utterly betrayed. It made me feel rejected and hurt because it felt like they didn’t believe in me. It felt like they didn’t think I was good enough, which is why I was going to ‘end up on the street’. All my life I’ve longed for them to be proud of me and say that I was doing a good job. All my life, I’ve lived by their rules, and done what they had told me to do, so I could be the scholar that all their friends could admire. I’ve always worked so hard to please them and now that I’ve started thinking about myself and what I want to do, I’m a disappointment?
To this day, I have continued to pursue my passion for music. I continue to make music because it’s what makes me happy. What I learned from this experience is that, yes, it’s nice to be accepted by others, and yes, it’s nice to feel wanted and valued, but not if it comes at the cost of losing yourself in the process. It’s not worth it if you don’t believe in yourself, no matter how many other people believe in you. Your own approval is the only approval that truly matters. Feeling my parents’ disappointment only makes me want to achieve my dream more. It only makes me want to prove to myself that I am good enough to make it in the real world. Whether they choose to support me or not, I will believe in myself for chasing after a longtime dream and achieving my goals.
‘The dreams in my wandering head’
“Falling” has been one of my favorite songs since its release last year. The song truly embodies the pain and confusion of rejection. Since the song reflects on a romantic relationship, I modified some of the lyrics to better correlate to familial rejection.
How long can I tread? It’s getting deep
What if I’m someone you don’t want around
What if I’m someone you won’t talk about
I’m well aware I always seem to disappoint you
I get the feeling that you’ll never love me again
These are just some of the many incredibly meaningful lyrics found in “Falling.” Hope you enjoy it! See you in my next post.