Thursday, 15 January 2015

Youthful. . .

Anika Moa is a singer songwriter from Aotearoa who achieved early success in her career, with a record deal in the United States.  Her organic approach to songwriting, her brutal honesty in her lyrics and natural tones of her guitar playing all combine to give a unique sonic experience.

I am just a schoolgirl
Living in a fantasy world
Now I'm outspoken. . . 

I walked around for a couple of years
Trying to convince myself
It was a plan, I was to understand it. . . 

When you are considered too young to make opinions or too young to have a voice to make those opinions heard, you can often feel isolated and inferior.  I can't remember how many times I felt that way as a young person growing up.  I often wondered why people didn't see things the way that I saw them, why things took so long to get completed, why we needed to wait around for things to happen.

I was often told to be patient and to wait and that if I wanted action to take place, I needed to be intuitive and connect with others to ensure that we were all on the same page.  I quickly realised that I learned that this was the plan for my growth as an individual - so that I could contribute effectively to a collective - whether this was my family, my community or any group of people that I found myself in.

They say things to me like, 'you're so beautiful'.
They spoke of other things like 'how much do you charge?'

You're youthful 
You can't hide behind that face
You're so youthful 
Sit tight and stare

It can be frustrating when people can't get past your youth.  Growing up, you might often be the youngest person in the group that is relied upon to contribute to vital decision-making that affects a larger group of people.  Those in senior positions might give you an opportunity to speak up and might even advocate for you to be given opportunities to speak and act.

So what can you do?

Even if people try to brush you aside because of your youth, you might need to practise maintaining that poker face and work twice as hard as your senior counterparts to prove that you deserve to have a voice, not because you are young, but because you've earned it through your work.

Silence stalks me, pushes me through
I feel so broken
Turn the lights on a couple of times
to see if you would exchange
I would not know if you turned them off

Maybe I'm allowed
Maybe it's in the book
Maybe I could shut down the walls

9 till 5 I hope it doesn't show
9 till 5 it's not a perfect thing

I hope that you know that you have the right to speak and have a voice.  You will always have indecision swirling around you, making self-doubt very easy to creep in.

There have far too many tragedies around the world that have suppressed the voices of people who want to speak out.  Just because we don't agree with the opinions of others, it doesn't mean they're wrong and we're right - it just means that we have different beliefs.  Can't we respect our difference of opinion?  As long we don't harm others in the process, blatantly killing them so that our beliefs are upheld - that is where we need to draw the line. . .