Hear, Here

April 23, 2015

It’s so easy to change your appearance
Cut your hair
Color your hair
Change your makeup
Color your nails
Lose weight
Gain weight
Use different-colored contact lenses

This generation of visual people rely on their eyesight to see instantaneous changes, to be stunned, be marveled. You want everyone to know you’ve changed? Alter something in your appearance. Leave that old shell of yours and make a new one. Overhaul. It’s not as drastic as a behavior change or maybe a change of address but it’s at least, instant.

You can change your shell, but it’s harder to change your expressions. How you squint at things, how you look when you’re having a deep and hearty belly laugh. How your forehead scrunches up when you analyze something, or how your body translates its reactions through your face. But even that, even that is visual.

You can change everything, but it’s even more difficult to change your voice. That’s genetic material hardwired in your body.

It’s harder to forget how you sound when you’re excited. When you’re upset, or moody. When you’re really happy, or when you laugh. When you’re irritated or plain angry. When you just got out of a successful meeting and you still have the remnants of your ‘meeting’ voice. When you’re venting.

When you’re passionate with a topic or a person. When you’re in passion.

Changing how you sound is harder, but not impossible. It will take years. So does forgetting how one sounds like. I still remember how my grandmother sounded like and she’s been gone for 5 years now. I still know how my cousin sounds like even though she’s been living in the US for years already. The sound you carry and use everyday of your life gets marked on to the people you interact with. Even people you only met once or twice in your life, you still know you’ve “heard that from somewhere” and know that most of the time that you’re right.

How people sound has always been more of an impact to me than how they look or present themselves. Everyone sounds different to me, I pick up tones in their voice, colorful and vibrant notes when they feel something extreme. My other grandmother, who left us almost 2 years ago, I can still remember how she sounded while she was in sp much agony when my grandfather was being pushed into his final resting. And that scene has been more than a decade ago.

How people sound is a bigger imprint of who they are to me than just their appearance alone. Or how they carry themselves.


But I’ve forgotten how you sound already.


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