This blog post is a song request by +Shannon Vulu
I've been reflecting a lot about the "me" that I used to be in my "younger" days. I'm almost nearing the end of my study journey (actually in the middle of my last qualification) and I realise that I've been studying on and off for the past 20 years (life-long learners eat your hearts out!). As much as I've gained knowledge and critical thinking from all of the degrees and diplomas that I've earned - it was actually the "street smart" learning that accompanied the formal awards that I think have taught me the most about myself, how I interact with others and how I see myself. To illustrate this more clearly, today's blog post features the track Wake me up by Aloe Blacc.
Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me
The music video shows us the reality that Mexican Americans face, even those who are born in the United States - and still face discrimination by American authorities. Trying to live the American Dream doesn't seem to be as easy as the movies make it out to be - they don't disclose the real details, the horror stories even - about families that are ripped apart because they are trying to make a better life for themselves in another country. I sound a little biased about it, and you're probably right. And that's because I'm the product of a migrant family who travelled to Aotearoa New Zealand in the early 1970s in the hopes of living the New Zealand Dream, just like America, the land of milk and honey. I don't think my parents would ever have envisaged how our lives would have turned out now - they knew that the start would be moving to somewhere foreign, alien and unchartered in terms of their life experiences at that time, but nonetheless, they were willing to take those chances to give my brothers and I the best start in life. The question now is - how will we end up? That journey is still ongoing.
So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
Hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don't have any plans
Do you sometimes wish you could go to sleep and miss all of the major disasters or major periods of pain (I'm not talking menstrual cycles here) but all of the things that you know that you need to suffer through and learn life lessons about - but just wake up in time for the good times in life? That sounds like a pretty sweet deal and an ideal way to look at life - where you could self-edit or photoshop away all of the problems that you would face. It's extremely hard to take on all of the world's problems on your own, especially when you didn't create them but you are expected to fix it, or if the world is trying to pass the buck and you get sucked into fixing things yet again. If I only have two hands, I would probably need to be more selective about what I do with them and how I choose to use them - making the most out of my life about what needs to get done, without having to wear my hands out or risk having my hands in an accident that could've been avoided. The best way to travel the world would be without any plans - but here's hoping that you get to choose yourself for a change, once in a while, to figure out what it is that you actually want to do, with whom and where.
Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life's a game made for everyone
And love is the prize. . .
If love is the prize, who are the contestants?
Will you find love with someone else - but you just don't know it yet?
Maybe you already know the person you're going to fall in love with yet - but it hasn't happened yet. That's quite scary. But nothing to panic about. Just wait and see what happens and cross that bridge when you come to it.
I hope that you will not be afraid to close your eyes, because you're not afraid to be kept awake.
Why risk being asleep and having someone try to wake you up, when you should already be awake anyway? A little less relying on others and a lot more relying on yourself.
I can't tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start. . . so start with you, and see who will share that prize of love with you :-)