I Will Not Be Silent

I was safe in a cocoon when the metamorphosis happened. Lying on my couch, underneath the soft gray fleece blanket, I silently cried.

Rachel's soothing voice came through my earphones. "Release. Many of you here tonight are lightworkers. You have been absorbing things from the collective that are not yours. You can release."

As the gong's sound waves reached the shores of my ear drums and reverberated throughout my body I let out a silent scream.

What called me to that ceremony on Sunday? My soul, the universe, my destiny, who knows? Does it matter what brought me there anyway? What matters is where it took me: The cave of my thunderous voice.

You see, when I released the anger, the hurt, the pain of other people's expectations of me to play small I fucking screamed.

It had been such a profoundly heartbreaking week with protests against racism all over the world.

I know that feeling of sometimes silent yet present oppression. As a Chinese American I was taught to play small, to silence my voice and shrink my presence.

"Be quiet, not too loud. You're a girl," my mom would say.

"You talk too much," some, even close to me, would say.

"Americans are too loud and too positive," others would say, when I visited or lived in their countries.

"You're supposed to be obedient and not cause a stir," stereotypes would say.

There, in that cave, I released their shushing.

There, in that luminous imaginary cave during the glorious psychedelic gong bath I said, "F*CK THAT."

My power is my voice. And I will NOT stay silent.

I began in a quiet cocoon. I emerge as a singing butterfly.


This was a personal essay, written by me, inspired by recent events. To hear me reading this on video, please see my Instagram video here.