I was heading South when it started to drizzle. I couldn’t help but furrow my brows as the sun shone just as bright at the same time. It reminded me the love I have for both the sunlight and the rain. Yes, you can love different things on the same level. You can love them despite their differences.
You must love without prejudice.
I fell in love with writing poems before reading novels. I think I was 9 then. I was inspired by Judy Abbott while the first novel I’ve read was Before Women Had Wings when I was about 11, I think? I fell in love with the two as I fell in love with music too. So much love all at once and I’m glad–I am beyond astounded by how much a heart can hold.
I thank my father for blasting off different kinds of music every morning. We have stacks of CDs upon CDs. I always woke up to Beatles, Michael Learns To Rock, Carpenters, The Jackson 5, Westlife, NSYNC, Green Day, Blink-182, Simple Plan, The Dawn, Parokya Ni Edgar, APO Hiking Society and Eraserheads. Yes, you name them. They always put me up in a good mood. Music can really really be therapeutic.
Come my 12 year old self, I learned how to play the guitar. No, I don’t sing. Weird, right? I can be tone deaf as fuck and still get the rhythm (sometimes 😂😂) I thought I was cool then—a girl playing the guitar. I wasn’t. There’s Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Barbie Almabis, Kitchie Nadal and Yeng Constantino who also happen to write their own songs. So what made me different from others? What made you different from others?
High School was probably the major platform that showed and taught me lots of music genres. There were lots of Battle of the Bands everywhere. I even tried the bass and some basic drums. Having guy best friends who play instruments means supporting them and cheering for them in the crowd. Coming to their practice jam and listening to the same music they listen to—both locals and foreign. Come to think of it, where did all these bands have gone—The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Click Five, Faber Drive, Lifehouse, A1, Kamikazee, Callalily, Spongecola, Cueshe, and Typecast—just to name a few? Some of them faded out, the others are still there but it’s like we all have moved on to another artist; another type of songs. Well, it’s another era. Don’t you think we are all bandwagons somehow? That’s what high school felt like. You listen to songs because it’s cool and everyone’s into it. You put thick eyeliner on because you are so into My Chemical Romance. You even had that one side bangs! You were called emo because you listened way too much to Mayday Parade. Why not, right?
We just want to belong after all.
Until you realized it was wrong. Until you realized that you don’t have to do what everyone is doing just to fit in. Until you realized you don’t give a fuck anymore. Until you realized it’s okay to be you.
There and then, I redefined myself.
I put down the guitar for a while and I picked up the books again. This was the time when I could finish a book or two in a day and God, that’s the happiest I’ve ever been. It widened my horizon. I have lived a thousand lives. It brought me to places I’ve never been into and I met people that are either the epitome of kindness or the quintessential of assholes. It was an escape–just like with music.
College came. Hell, it was stressful. The pressure was too much I needed a way out. I started watching football. I supported Azkals then. I went to Rizal Memorial a couple of times to watch them live. I even met a bunch of them. Let me not upload it here though because I was so fetus you may not continue reading 😅
I fell in love with the defender as hard as I fell for small forward. Yes, I love basketball, too! I am forever Team Purefoods (I will call them that no matter how many times they change names). It felt like I was back in my childhood, watching games with my father and playing free throws with my brother. There I probably got my boyish demeanor before the girl in me got finally unleashed. A neighbor even calls me Mrs. Rondo up to this day because I wouldn’t stop talking about Rajon and Celtics then. Sometimes, a ball game can also be a ticket away from reality.
Tumblr was a refuge and I spent most of my time writing in different online sites like Figment. I met a bunch at thetwilightsaga.com which was later taken down because the groups built weren’t connected to Twilight anymore. There were Potterheads mostly and The Vampire Diaries. I have met different people around the world. There were twins from Luxembourg and someone from Greenland that I still sometimes talk to on Facebook or Instagram.
Until that day I saw this certain Harry Styles on my Dashboard. It was 2011. Who the fuck, right? The only famous Harry I knew then was the boy who lived and Prince Harry, of course. As they say, curiosity kills the cat. I found myself knowing One Direction and falling into the deep. I started to become this immature fangirl who couldn’t take constructive criticism. I even hated Alex Gaskart when he said shits about One Direction when I myself used to jam with Dear Maria way before 1D was born. But, did I tell him to die? No. I was just gutted that my favorite was saying shit about my other favorite. I was in Catch 22. I didn’t hate., though. It is such a strong word I wouldn’t want to incorporate it upon anyone. Have I matured now? Certainly.
Side story: someone asked how do you mosh in Dear Maria and someone replied ‘hahaha’ as if it’s the best joke ever cracked upon the surface of the Earth. Well, you fucking jump around to the rhythm as if it is the best fucking day of your life. That’s how you do it; to whatever song you prefer. Damn, it is your life. You can dance/mosh around to any song you want.
2013, my calling came: 5 Seconds of Summer. I started 5SOSPHTeam on Twitter to support the band. I just felt like they deserve to be known. I saw the potential behind those fringe and ugly purple pony shirt. Why wouldn’t I like them when they did covers of my favorites like We The Kings (which was my first concert in June 2014) and A Day To Remember? They weren’t that bad! Others say we listen to them because they look great. Well, have you seen them during the first year of their career?
Our team got to work with their management and it was the best accomplishment I’ve had in my entire fangirl life—until I met the band itself this March 2016, that’s really like the best-est of the best. The three years of hardwork my team exerted in social media, let alone the fan parties and events we held finally paid off. We did charity too!
Am I glad that they became mainstream? No. Did I stop listening to them because they became one? The fuck no! Why would I? I was in it for the music. Jesus, what kind of thinking is that? Am I glad they are touring? Hell, yeah! That’s what they deserve. Though, I dreamt of all genders to be in their fan base, they already got judged because of opening for 1D. It sucks. It’s hard. Fucking judgmental people who call themselves music lover. Just because we are fangirls doesn’t mean we don’t have a good music taste.
I’ve also seen Ed Sheeran live, One Direction, All Time Low, One Republic, Against The Current and they are all of different genres.
Fangirls are belittled because of our screeching and tears and shits. Well, we’re sorry if we are just fucking happy and that’s how we let it out. That doesn’t mean we are weak. Why do you judge people by the songs they listen to? It’s called a fucking personal preference. You have your own, don’t you? You even ‘cry to Amnesia in private’, yes?
Why do we have to cry for fucking equality in every fucking time in every fucking thing?
We all say that these bands and artists saved us then why are some of you killing it for others? If A Rocket To The Moon saved me and Slipknot saved you, then OKAY. We don’t have to say shits against other bands or artists just because we don’t listen to them. They have saved lives too. They also worked hard to be where they are now. So, who are you to tear them down?
We all have our opinions regarding every freaking thing and that’s okay, we think differently. But can’t we at least RESPECT each other? And stay nice? It doesn’t cost anything. I thought that’s what your bands taught you. You say you support music? Then, why do you downgrade other artists’ genre? Sarcasm is neither sassy nor pretty. Sometimes it is just downright rude and petty. And you don’t use the ‘I’m just expressing my opinion‘ card, that’s pathetic.
Maybe you have noticed how this become a rant of some sort. We have reached the climax is all.
Music preference is just like book preference or even sport preference. The story I like may be a little bit off for you. The sports I watch may be boring to you. It’s like choosing between black coffee or tea or whatever the fuck your choice of beverage is. Is there something wrong with that? No. It’s just how things go. It’s your choice.
I always try to preach what I teach: Always be the better person. But sometimes you really have to call out on other people’s bullshit. That’s what I have learned in being a fangirl. And no, being one doesn’t invalidate me as a human.
You know what I’ve also learned? I have learned to stand up for myself. I have learned that there is beauty in diversity. I have learned that I can love another without hating the other. I have learned that you can bring someone up without bringing the other down. I have learned how to respect. I have learned all these things because I’m a fangirl and a human being who lets myself grow with everything around me.
It’s 2016. I’m 23—still a fangirl. I don’t think there’s an end to this. This will always be me.
So, what did your idols teach you? I would like to hear because oh, I have learned how to listen too–without judgement.
Keep living a WANDERful life, wanderers!