Who? Oh yeah, THAT chick!

So. This is the point where I look to my left, and I look to my right, and remember who I got around me, what I got around me, and where I used to be. I must say… I’m pretty dang happy.

I think about a year ago, I was a depressed, stressed, broken-hearted mess (that rhymed!). Freshly torn from a lot of people I knew and loved, I had a lot of trouble holding myself together.

I don’t think there was a lower time in my life, by a long shot! But I found a way out, somehow. While stumbling around in my emotions, I met Pastor Jason, otherwise known as The Rambling Shepherd. He, also having had his share of heartbreak woes in the past, coached me out of my misery, not only with talk and fellowship with new people, but through the ministry of music.

I had been writing some songs to help me get over this hump of depression and self-loathing, and it helped. I had written my first song with lyrics, “Let Her Go” because of the mess.

If you listen to the lyrics, it is sad, and it is longing. Angsty, even. I had put so much heart into the song, I just wanted to get my emotions and thoughts out. I’d written songs on piano to help get over sorrow before, but never on guitar, or with lyrics. This was my gateway into songwriting. I played it over and over, while crashing at my friend David’s place. By the end of the semester, most of the people in the apartment knew the melody and some of the lyrics, haha. There are some others from that time that are still unrecorded. Like THIS song. Lol, I look so ridiculous with my emo hair… And I don’t do so well in front of a camera, so… yeah, just keep that in mind:

David, coincidentally had just recently gone through some heartbreak woes, too. And as God would have it, the name of the girl he had been done in by shared the same name as mine. We had even gone through similar situations, feeling a lot of the same emotions! We had a lot to talk about, as you could imagine. Dave was the roommate of two of my friends, Sean (a stellar photographer), and Marcus, who had invited me to stay at their place for the remainder of the semester (After the big explosion I had with my ex, I had no place to stay while going to school in SJ…). Dave was one of the main components to my healing, he talked me out of my sorrow within 10 minutes! Not to say that I was completely healed, but I had made a great leap in progress. He had reminded me of what God had done in my life, and that it wasn’t the end of the line. Little did I know, he would be a future bandmate.

Then, Arthur made his appearance in my life. We skated a lot… I mean A LOT. He also had been troubled with some previous romance. We talked a lot, and supported each other. Always skating and playin’ guitar, we were always around each other. We also talked a lot about God. Later, he would invite me to Pastor Jason’s place for dinner, as he was invited, and felt more comfortable bringing someone he knew with him. That’s when I first met the Jason. The first thing I recall when I first went to his place was that there were guitars… EVERYWHERE. I knew I was meeting someone interesting…

As I grew to know Jason, and Arthur and I were being coached while reading “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshuah Harris (great book by the way), I came to understand his roots in music, and how he composed, just like I did! He had a song that got popular for a while called “Valentine’s Day” on mp3.com, when it was all indie uploads. He made some money off of it! He inspired me to keep writing. I was soon inspired to write “The Sea and Jacarandas”

“The Sea and Jacarandas”

I’m tired of seeing you here
Why don’t you disappear, this is my world
I can’t stand
That you can just walk around like you own the place

Oh leaving so soon? Why don’t you stay a while?
We can talk about the sea and jacarandas
I can hold you for the first time again
Or maybe then again you should leave

I think you should go!
I think you should go!

Why does your shadow leave tracks in my dreams?
It’s impossible it seems to forget you
So I try to distract myself with things
Don’t think for a second you’ll be staying here

‘Cause I have a heart that is guided
I’m all done picking up the pieces
No more
Talk about the jacaranda tree or the sea

The flowers mean nothing to me!
‘Cause I cast them all to the sea!

This song was a little less longing, though still angsty. I had grabbed the situation by the horns, and begun to fight it, rather than gore myself with them, my previous attitude, haha. Then, in the mood for composing, I rapid-fire shot out this one:

There is a spirit ahead of me.
And he says, “If you die I win
I can give you the revenge you seek
If only you’d just give in
“I told him that I may be broken
But my weakness I forsake
Don’t take aim at my naivity
This is one soul you can’t take
I lock and I load!
I’m planting my feet!
You can’t kick me down!
I’m standing my ground!
My heart is on fire!
You can’t blow it out!
You can’t kick me down!
I’m standing my ground!

But he still tried to reason with me
“Look at her. Remember the passion you had
You will never be loved like that again”
and I said, “I already am”


As you can tell, I wasn’t the best musician/vocalist, but the point was to get my emotions out, and do something other than just sit and take my depression like a daily pill. It was helping a lot. This song was much more empowering, and I began to build confidence around this time.
Also, around this time, Jason had proposed to Arthur and I, the idea of a band, and the revolution of worship in our church. At the time, he felt that it could be better, and he felt a burden to bring a new spirit of worship to the congregation. How convenient that God was guiding people Arthur and I, and later, (Johnathan Hsu on keys) to Jason and the church! For some reason, Jason just attracted musically talented people, before even talking to them!
So, for the first time ever, I was on the worship team. I couldn’t believe it. I never thought I’d be on one. Never felt “good” enough, or that I could keep the nerve. But after that first worship session I was playing organ on keys, we really brought the Spirit down on the house. It was palpable. People were talking about it for a while! Arthur was on lead elec. guitar, and he did his thing, too. I was excited. I had never been a part of something so important and big before! A good start. This built my confidence even further, and distanced me even more from my woes of my previous romance and former friends.
With the positive influence coming in, I wrote another song. Much more happy and uppity, and a lot less rawk, haha.
“I Believe”
I believe in love
And the power that it holds
I believe in Heartbreak
And how it leaves you so coldI don’t believe in worry
‘Cause that’s a lack of faith
I don’t believe in revenge
‘Cause it just brings the hateI can’t believe you’re sorry
‘Cause I don’t believe your eyes
But I do believe you’re happy
That isn’t a surpriseI don’t believe what they say
They’re only saying what they hear
I do believe in heroes
Why do they disappearChorus:
You don’t have to agree with me
It’s just what I believeI believe in Mama
She never lets me down
I believe in papa
The smartest man in town
(Don’tcha’ know)

I believe in my sister

My biggest supporter and my friend
I believe if you’ve got family
Your joy will never end(Chorus)You gotta’ fight for what you stand for
Or else what else are we here for?Don’t keep it in the dark
Show everyone who you are
It really isn’t hard
Just say it out loudThat you believe in love
And the power that it holds
Watch out for that heartbreak
‘Cause it will leave you out coldAnd don’t you worry
‘Cause that’s a lack of faith
Don’t partake in revenge
‘Cause it just brings the hate


It was a lot of fun to record. As you could tell, I was doin’ good. Things were looking up. Still no recording/music skills, but lots of heart in the right direction. Afterward, I had been hired on Fiverr.com to write some songs, just for fun. The first was Cat Food, based off of a grocery list a client thought was pretty funny. It’s so cheesy, but it was fun, haha!
This is… the ONLY song on soundcloud… that has downloads, haha! 
And an author contacted me to write a song about a person with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), who’d been in Iraq. His book was about the consequences of war. (masscasualties.com). But I realized that I was going to through somewhat of a form of PTSD myself! I had come a long way, but still hadn’t completely healed. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to take an abstract angle at my own situation.
This song… was SO much fun to sing.
Then, Jason got me and Arthur together again, and really got the idea of the band in our heads. We needed a drummer. So I knew just who to call! David Wickman, the same guy who helped me before, is a great drummer. I jammed with him some time ago before this point, and knew he had the chops. Josh Supelana served as the bassist, and Johnathan Hsu eventually came in on keys. Together, we formed Songs of the Redeemed! We practiced for a long time, and had our first performance, which happened to be a concert!

It was great fun, man. We’re not the best musicians in the world, but we all complement each other. That’s what matters. We’re still getting better, though! This was the high point. My dad even came to see me, and some friends from Tracy! I realized at that point, I had come a long way. By this point, it had been over a year. Still healing, but much stronger than I was before. The power of music ministry is amazing. God worked it all out so that we could all come together and make things happen. I leave you with this little treat I had done a little while ago, just because I freakin’ LOVE Billy Joel!

4 Responses to “Who? Oh yeah, THAT chick!”

  1. Hey Jeiji, Richard here from “First Church” San Jose. It was great talking with you on Sunday afternoon.

    Love your music here!

    Hey, what was the name of that biz card printer you mentioned to me? I need to order new cards this week.

    Thanks a million!

    • Thanks so much! I subscribed to your blog on my feedly, haha! And that bizicard printer was vistaprint.com, or us.moo.com!

  2. “i already am!” — i like that. 🙂

    (btw… i didn’t attend a whole log of Rock concerts in high school, but Billy Joel was my first one.)

    • Haha, let me tell you, those lyrics came from the heart. Thanks! Yeah, I wish I could’ve seen him live, that’d’ve been cool. “That’d’ve”. Is that… a plausible contraction?

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