reinterpretation III (Defying Gravity)

I wrote an entry quite a while back called reinterpretation (The Climb), in which I discussed about how I re-appropriated the message of the Miley Cyrus song The Climb to be a song about HIV. I then followed it up again with another entry called reinterpretation II (You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me), which I then reinterpreted the lyrics of that song and made it about HIV as well.

I was going to do a whole series on this but there aren’t that many songs that I could truly reinterpret into a full-fledged HIV song. And then a long while back, I saw Wicked when it came to Manila and I kept hearing Defying Gravity over and over again and I even fell in love with the song (whereas before, I just sorta kinda liked it). It hit me, in a different way, and when I really studied the lyrics, I realised that this was a song that I could reinterpret and turn completely into an HIV song.

I’ve been planning to write this entry for a long time now but I just never got around to doing it. Well, here it is. Hopefully, I can find another one very soon and have around ten or eleven songs and prepare a Reinterpretations playlist. Just for the hell of it.

And if I am going to post a link of the song here, I’m going to post my favourite version on YouTube. Ladies and gentlemen, the magnificent Lea Salonga:

From the opening verse: Something has changed within me / something is not the same / I’m through with playing by all the rules / of someone else’s game

It’s pretty self-evident. I discovered I had HIV and everything changed. And it took me three years trying to live for other people and by doing so, was going through my own process of denial of what happened to me. I decided, after I almost died a second time in 2010, that I was going to take my own life in my own hands and play my game and live for me.

I’m through accepting limits / ’cause someone says they’re so / some things I can’t change / but ’til I try, I’ll never know

I refuse to allow myself to be held back by my condition and I’m going to push the boundaries of my limits and keep raising the bar of what people think people with HIV can or cannot do. I have HIV, yes, but it’s still my body and if I take care of myself, I’ll still be able to do everything I want to and no one, not even this virus, can stop me. I just have to be smart about it. But it’s possible.

Unlimited, my future is unlimited

There’s nothing people with HIV cannot do if they just take care of themselves and be smart about how they push themselves. They can be just like anybody else. We just have a weakened immune system. But with proper adherence to our medication, good sleep, proper nutrition, and management of our stress levels, we can work at optimal efficiency and we can still achieve anything we want, really.

I’m done with people telling me what I can or cannot do. It’s my body. Let me figure it out. I’ve got great doctors who keep me in check and tell me what’s possible and what’s not. I have support from family and friends who are family. I’m so done with people telling me what is best for me and how I should live my life and as to what I am worth or what I am all about.

I think I’ll try / defying gravity / and you won’t bring me down

And since 2010, I’ve been getting stronger and stronger and I’m the healthiest I’ve been ever. I think I could use just a little more exercise but I’m working, and I’m working smart, and I’m busy but I make sure to have a lot of rest and my seven hours of sleep and a break every now and then so that I don’t get stressed out.

And I’m still going strong.

No, no one is going to bring me down. I’ll just wait until I die of old age. Until then, I’ve got things to write.

(Defying Gravity written by Stephen Schwartz)

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