EZRA MAY ARINGAY | Co-FoundeR

The inside of my brain is like one of those secret rooms in spy movies that have red lasers darting everywhere. You know when the lead character has to contort their body in order to avoid touching the lines and the alarm going off? Well in my mind, the operation never succeeds and my thoughts buzz like crazy. 

As a result, I speak really fast. Sometimes things come out of my mouth before my brain has even processed it. My thoughts go in several directions and I get way too excited about everything, but I just know if I keep too much information to myself, I’ll explode.

I believe that the sole reason for this trait of mine is that I’ve spent most of my life devoted to entertainment. I constantly consume it and I crave it. I am a victim of the television binge-watch phenomenon. I love keeping up to date with film festivals and burning through an actor’s filmography. I love listening to music and seeing artists live in concert. I love reading autobiographies and watching late-night talk shows.

Being entertained is my favourite thing in the world, and entertainment as we know it is endless.

I went through my high school years dabbling in all sorts of things , but what I have always really enjoyed is the art of performing and creating. My sister was (and still is) my role model, and I found myself following in her footsteps all the way to university. I took up most of the same subjects as she did, just a few years later.  Teachers all knew me because of my sister. In some way, I had no real idea of who I was or what I wanted to be. My greatest talent was escaping in the fantasy of other worlds.

I clouded my world with entertainers who presented the seemingly ideal life, sometimes failing to embrace my own reality. But I’m learning to grow up now and with some guidance and prayer, I know that my life - my own world and reality - is also, worth celebrating.

When I was four, I needed to get a hearing aid in my right ear. It turns out that the nerve in my left ear had shrunk to almost nothing, so the best solution was to enhance the ‘good’ ear. I feel fortunate to have had doctors who made it a fun childhood experience (I’ve had aids in different colours!), but it didn’t bother me, because everything I heard had started to become louder and richer. It became a natural part of my life, just like wearing glasses.

The only time I’m reminded of it is when I wear headphones. My left ear doesn't receive any sound, and relying solely on the right track means that some vocals and instruments are dropped out, thus giving me a half-completed version of whatever song in listening to. Sometimes this frustrates me. I ask myself, "Why can't I just have two good ears? Why was I cursed with a love for music and only one ear to enjoy it with?" My laser thoughts start going haywire and tears well up in my eyes. It’s so easy to feel sorry for yourself, but let me tell you, it’s the most unproductive thing you can do.

When people ask, I generally say that I was never bullied in high school. However the truth is, I can’t be too sure as I do recall one time where a friend of mine defended me while I was talking to her, and I didn't know why. She had said to me afterwards, "How rude of them to say that, they were right behind you!", and that's when I realized, my left ear simply hadn't heard whatever cruel remarks were said about me. Never again did I feel sorry for myself. I had been saved from hearing something that might've changed my entire life.

The mind is a powerful place, but what’s more powerful is the way in which you use it. Perspective is the utmost control you can have over your mind

One of the keys to happiness is to count your blessings. Every day I tell myself that the world of entertainment can be a part of my life, but I have to be present for the rest of it. I have learned to cherish every moment that reminds me of my existence, whether it is a dog wagging its tail at me, or seeing my best friend cry happy tears when we catch up. They teach me that my being has an impact on others and that I can truly make a difference in the world.

I believe the only way to enrich our souls is to try to inspire others in the way that good work – music, film, television, speeches, books – inspires us. We are all born to inspire others by being more than we think we are or should be. We need to embrace positivity, tell stories that highlight sentimental moments, in order to remind ourselves that life is worth living.

This is why Sisters & Stuff is here. It’s for you and me. You might be happy where you are, or like me, you’re still trying to find out who you are. Either way, I am certain you have experienced something that changed your life. I encourage you to share your beautiful, meaningful, uplifting stories with us. Your uniqueness? Own it.

EM

xx