As a child, my parents were immigrants and had presumably sheltered me in almost every aspect of my premature life, attempting to mold me into their “ideal” Vietnamese spawn. Being so, I never understand why other students’ parents packed them cool snacks and drinks, while mine would hug and kiss me endlessly, waving me off with a box of rice and fish. Life was hard at times, but also enlightening as I got older.
Growing up differently taught me to be patient and alert when facing adversity. It also taught me the importance of working hard and gaining respect from others. With constant work and discipline I had gained from my parents, I eventually gained the respect of hundreds of musicians in New Jersey. I had gone on to become number 1 percussionist in the state my junior year of high school. Music made me a somebody. But being respected wasn’t what I loved most about music.
Music was a form of expression. It has no boundaries, follows no guidelines, and doesn’t judge people for who they are. Music is one of the few things that can help you escape your reality, that helped me escape a childhood of lost identity. No matter how bad things were, music numbed the pain. It sparked emotion, held memories, and told stories in ways my tongue could not.
The world needs music, but I know it craves Doctors and Lawyers, not tongueless children who play too loud and aim for respect from others.