Can’t Stand Me: How I Hated Hearing Myself

I’m a long way from where I used to be, thankfully. I used to be shy, at least that’s what I always assumed. I used to be scared, I always thought I was fat (even when I wasn’t although now I kind of am) and I used to detest hearing my voice even though I always wanted to sing like Beyoncé Knowles.

Born in the 80’s and growing up in the 90’s, I didn’t have many avenues to record myself so I would just belt out tunes as I danced to them and I pretty much didn’t care how I sounded in reality.

When I was 17 years old, the year I graduated from secondary school, (high school to some of you) I joined my local church band aka choir because of my love for music and my dream of singing. This was when I learned how to play the bass guitar (totally rad right? Hehehe) and also where and when I remember hearing my voice for the first time.

I cringed the first 100 times I heard my voice and I probably still do.
When given the microphone to sing, the fear of hearing myself would cause me to sing very low, without confidence. That was then. Now I can stand hearing myself as long as I’m the only one listening at that moment.
With lots of practice and self love I’ve gotten over most of the awkwardness.
I work in a radio station and every now and then I voice stuff so hearing myself takes me unawares sometimes, but now I’d say my voice and I are able to see eye to eye and I’m proud of myself.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt on ‘Can’t Stand Me’

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My Fearless World is a Fantasy

The Daily Prompt’s writing challenge for today is Fearless Fantasy.
I’m writing about this because I’ve always known fear to be my greatest stumbling block.

Up in my head I have no fear.
No fear to run or jump or fly.

My greatest fear is dying alone. Would anyone every want me and love me? I don’t know.

Up in my head, I have no fear.
No fear of snakes, I’ll trample their heads

But left to face the world, I’ll jump if a rat passed by.

By Heart

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s Prompt

Poetry, to me, has always been this fleeting entity that constantly remains out of my reach. Over the years, my attempts at this specific art form has been like a child ascending the stage for the first time with fear and awe. Through these feelings, the phrase In Those Days takes me to a time I will never forget. Not for its superb experiences, but for the innocence that we all lose and can never regain.
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In Primary 5, 5th grade to some of you, Mr Isaiah made us learn a poem from the popular West African Verse by David Diop. I Don’t know why it’s still in my head- word for word, but when I realise that i haven’t forgotten the words, i’m as giddy as a teenage girl experiencing her first crush.
As I reflect now, I realise that the poem speaks of suffering and loss, but most importantly, of hope. I’m always hopeful so I guess this piece suits me just fine. Enjoy the excerpts below.

In those days
When civilization kicked us in the face
When holy water slapped our cringing brows
The vultures- built in the shadow of their talons
The blood stained monument of tutelage
In those days…
Hope was preserved in us as in a fortress…
Spring will be reborn under our bright steps

DAVID DIOP