Tonight I decided to do a search for covers on youtube and thought I’d collect some of my favourites here. I’ve always loved covers (see my previous post here and here) because of the different perspective they offer to something familiar. Forget the covers that sound exactly like the original (boring) or the ones that showcase a bunch of people who’ve just learnt to play their guitar (but good try guys!). I really like those who tear apart a song and are unafraid of highlighting the bits that mean something to them.

1. The Rescues doing Teenage Dream

Where do I start… beautiful vocal harmonies, a heartfelt performance, this is simply gorgeous.

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2. Boyce Avenue doing Only Girl (In The World)

Turning a needy, whiny and demanding song into something akin to a love song of promise, this one surprised me.

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3. Skylar Grey doing Love The Way You Lie

Okay, this one isn’t really a cover since she was the one who actually wrote the song, but I’m including this version anyway because I prefer her rendition. Which is a demo, no less.

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Not much else I found for today but if you have any other recommendations, do let me know. I’d love to hear what else is out there… in the large, large world of cyberspace.

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diary of a beautiful girl

I have a cracked reflection of things beautiful.
I lost the wonder beneath the things that once were.
Standing in the middle of my room, I begin to cry
Because of who, no, what I saw in the mirror.

I hate to admit this but I’m going to anyway. Realization is the start of discovery and maybe I’m hoping that by being honest, with myself, with you dear reader… I will start on the road afresh. I’ve been sitting by the side, wallowing in the dirt, heaping condemnation upon condemnation on my head. Not anymore.

Since a year ago, I’ve piled on the pounds. From a UK8/10, I now have to buy clothing in a size 12. It may not seem much, but it’s been enough for me to enter a state of horror and frustration because for the first time in my life, there’s nothing I can do about it.

I tried dieting. I tried exercising. I tried giving up. I tried to not care. I tried believing. I tried speaking. I, I, I. And each time I try something and it fails, I enter a deeper realm of self-disgust.

You’re pathetic, I said to myself. Others have more serious challenges to deal with, you have more important matters to concern yourself with. But faced with a closet filled with clothes I can no longer wear, comparing myself to the world’s lack or beauty only fuels the downward spiral.

‘I don’t think it’s just the weight,’ the Mother said. ‘When did the weight start to affect you so much? I remember when you first started putting it on, you were happy! You were fit and ready to do anything! You had a healthy self-image. You were running, and trekking, and going to the gym…’

‘I don’t know. I think it started in June. I have no inspiration to get out there, to care for myself anymore.’ I muttered at the computer screen. We were conversing via skype. ‘I don’t even write anymore. I don’t listen to music, I don’t read. I’m just… existing.’

‘It sounds like you’re mildly depressed,’ Mother said. Mildly depressed?

‘Was it after I left?’ Mother asked quietly.

‘I don’t know…’ I looked away because the tears were threatening to spill.

Mother was right. Ever since she left, I feel more alone than ever before. Yes, I am surrounded by love but nothing can ever substitute Mother’s caring for me.

And that’s when it dawned on me – I’m not facing a problem with my weight. It’s just a symptom.

I’d been eating to fill the hole inside my heart. I would walk to restaurants, just to order something that reminded me of her. I’d plan dinners that she used to plan. And every morning I’m alone, I’d sit at the dining table (where we used to sit together) and eat, eat, eat…

The oddest thing is, no one around me seems to understand how hard this is.

‘I miss my mom,’ I’d confide in my close friends. And after a nod, they’d change the subject to ask me how she’s doing.

Perhaps it’s hard for them to empathize with me. You see, it’s not just a mother-daughter relationship I have with Mother. She’s my best friend. She is my confidante. She’s the only person who senses my mood changes and is gutsy enough to go for the jugular and meet me heads on to question my belief system. She makes me a better person.

And without her… maybe I didn’t feel that good a person anymore.

‘You know I’m still here,’ she said. ‘I’m always here. You’re my daughter and I’ll still step in to help if you’d let me.’

And therein was the clincher. After she left, I thought I needed to be independent. I stopped updating her about everything in my life. I did my best to be her, to be like her as I handled the household affairs and family relationships. But I’m not her.

Deep inside, I was also struggling because I know why she needed to leave. I am in total support of her decision and at the same time, the selfish part of me was angry that she had actually left. That for the first time in my whole life, I had to face life without mother by my side.

‘I love you.’ Mother smiled at me, her face out of sync with the video feed. ‘I’m always here.’

‘I love you too.’ I whispered back, before logging off from skype and crawling into bed.

*

Something changed after that.

This morning, I looked into the mirror waiting for that sense of disgust to well up but it wasn’t there.

I had time to meet up with friends, enjoy a funny movie with the family and for the first time in months, lunch and dinner passed without the strange appetite I’d been fighting against.

At night, I walked over to the mirror and, summoning all strength into my articulation, I worked my lips and tongue to shape words I hadn’t said to myself in a long time.

‘Hello beautiful.’

*

Thanks mom, for loving me even at my ugliest. I love you… with all my heart.

metamorph

I change.

Therefore I am.

*

‘So we have three main events coming up…’ Cutesy said, rounding up our two-hour meeting. ‘And I’d like to put some of you in charge.’

‘I can help…’ I smiled. I love doing events. They are slightly chaotic but there’s always the element of magic – when you see what once merely existed in your mind, played out live.

‘You… just need to focus! I want you to really look into the videos. That’s your main thing for the coming months.’ Cutesy stared at me, before breaking into a laugh.

Whaaat? I groaned inwardly. You see, while I love conceptualizing videos, scripting and coaching/interviewing people… I really dislike being on set and coordinating schedules & equipment. I can do the job, not a problem. But really, it’s painful at times. I hadn’t told anyone this – that I had always gritted my teeth and carried on with the job because I knew I had something else to run to. There were the events, the live running of a show, the adrenaline I knew I’d get.

To be told that videos is going to be all that I’m involved in, well… I didn’t know what to think.

*

‘In view of your work schedule, we thought that we’d take you out of leading for a while and let you focus on backing up vocally,’ the Music boss said. ‘It’s not a reflection of your performance or anything, seriously, we all enjoy it when you lead. We just think you need more time to train yourself vocally.’

We were in the midst of the annual vocal review, and I agreed with the assessment wholeheartedly. It had been getting harder and harder to take the stage because I know where I am vocally, and how much I lack in that area.

‘Well, I guess it’s not a fantastic time to bring this up but I’m going to need to take leave again,’ I sighed. ‘Work is not easing and I don’t think I can commit…’

It was painful. Painful to leave what I love doing. Painful that when given the chance, I couldn’t do as well as I wanted to.

*

I sat at my table and without really understanding why, the tears began to fall.

‘Dammit! Stop being such an emotional wuss!’ I screamed inwardly but however I tried, I just couldn’t be strong. Not when all I loved was something I had to walk away from.

That was yesterday.

*

‘I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!’

– Lewis Carroll

This morning I woke up a different person.

I looked the same, I walked the same and darn it, I weighed the same.

But no, I wasn’t who I was yesterday. Something in me had finally chosen to embrace the waves and flow with the current to wherever it shall lead me.

‘You see, it didn’t matter that they were frightened or faithless,’ I explained to a friend. ‘It’s that while they were stuck out there in the middle of the perfect storm, they had the Dream Maker in the boat. He could change the shape of things at any given moment, which he did, and took them to safety. They got over to the other side of the lake because He was with them.’

I paused, reflecting on all that had taken place this year – the crazy events, my mother leaving, saying goodbye to old friends and meeting new ones, the great curve balls, turmoil and victories.

No, it didn’t matter how they felt in the boat. They got over to the other side. As will I.

*

Who will I be at the end of this new wave?

Even I don’t know the answer.

But that’s okay for today. In fact, that’s enough.

See you on the other side.

*

‘For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.’

– Lewis Carroll

little note

I opened up my emails to read through the stuff that I’d stashed away for later reading… and got this:

Dear Jesus, I pray for my friend reading this email. I pray You would be real, near and present in a very tangible way right now. Show Yourself strong and capable. Weep alongside those who weep and carry those who are broken and needy. Ignite joy and peace and hope tonight. Renew. Regenerate. Refresh. We need Your presence so much. Amen.

It spoke to me.

Timely.

That’s Him.