You know, growing up in a musical family you tend to be cast as “The Jackson Five”, “New Edition”, or the town’s favorite “the Destiny’s Future”. Destiny is my mom’s name and as you can see, she wears her name proudly… My mom has five daughters (including myself)… There’s Mia, Amber, Talia, and then there’s me the youngest by 2 years. I’m Olivia. I’m sure you can only imagine just how crazy and hectic it can be with nothing but girls in the household… My poor parents… my poor dad!
My parents, did their absolute very best job in raising us. My mom was a middle school teacher for 8th grade math, and my dad was a scientist (well by day, and a car repair by... Well whenever anyone needed him, which was… always… Somebody always needed a jump, help with their car motor… Or sometimes they needed to vent, so yea my dad was an all-around what you would call a Mr. Fix-it very good listener. He was (well still is) amazing. Always helping out with the warmest smile you’ve ever seen… That’s how my dad got mommy; his selflessness for others and will do anything and everything to make sure that she’s happy… But I’ll save that story for another day.
Growing up, being the youngest; it was hard to really showcase my talent. However it wasn’t until I was older that I realized my deepest desire… Creating a voice, building a brand. I’ll explain. When I was younger of course I sung with my sister in our group… However it wasn’t until my family and I were out at a restaurant when this older lady came to our table and said “You are raising such respectable young ladies who have such a good head on their shoulders. When they sing it’s like weight of the world is being carried off our shoulders and placed in the hands of God”… She then pause and looks directly at me… “But you my dear, have something special that you’re afraid to release because of either you’re just holding yourself back, your peers or just whatever the case maybe”… she softy touches my shoulder smiles and walks away. It was almost like no one was shocked by what she said BUT ME!! And from that day, I never seen her again… Maybe she was my guardian angel… any who, I would always think about what she said, because it’s not the 1st time I heard this before… But it hit differently that time.
Well years went by; my sisters and I would still be performing together at church, but of course as we’ve gotten older our parents were “somewhat” okay with us performing in clubs, (nothing to outrageous) family/friends of our parents who have children or grands, classmates’ birthday party. Later that night, I mentioned to my parents about wanting to really showcase my talent. They were always telling me for years just how great and amazing I am and yea I believe them, but I wasn’t actually believing them… I wasn’t putting things into action. So, that day I decided to try something. I decided to sing… No back-up, no sisters… just me!
There was an up and coming new artist/ Open Mic event in a local restaurant in our neighborhood. Her parents told her to just give it a try, they know just how ambitious Olivia (Livi or Livly Livi) was with getting into her singing… They would always tell her that her voice is the words that we can’t say, but you sing in such an angelic, peaceful way, that all the worries of yesterday have all been cast away.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that there wasn’t no jealousy involved with my sisters growing up… However if anyone knows my parents you know that they don’t play that jealously mess. My mom would always say (and still to this day)…
“That there’s no need to feel jealous or envious of anyone. What God has for you is specifically for you, and besides if you really want something bad enough… You know what you have to do… Put in that same effort from being jealous into whatever it is that you want to achieve. God already gave us the tools, but it’s up to us to utilize them “
I appreciate just how my parents instill confidence and truly understanding your self-worth in all of us girls at such a very young age. Any who, I’m sure you’re all are waiting on how the “surprise performance” went…
Well when I got on stage... It was like my playground. I felt so free, I felt at home.
I really came alive and just let the words come out my mouth from my tiny body. I sang the song “Diary” by Alicia Keys… Another trick I had up my sleeve was that I learned to play the piano. I took piano as an elective in school so it wasn’t like I had to sneak off to learn. Of course starting off I was beyond nervous, but soon everything was flowing like I’ve done this numerous times before. Before ending my performance, I wanted to give just one more surprise. I ended up singing an original song of mine
As I open my hands to the sky, to you, I just wanna thank you for all that you’ve done…
Alll that you’ve done…
I can never repay you Lord, I can never repay youuuu…. But as long as I have air in my lungs I wanna thank you!
When I was finish, there was not a dry eye in the building. And to see my dad, who is a man of every few words get so emotional lets me know that, the work that I’m doing is not going in vain. But like my parents would always say, “If you just touch one person”… But by the looks of it… Everyone was moved by my performance… Which moved me!
Being in an musical family there are times when you may feel that your best isn’t good enough, or “you’re just the young girl with the sister group”… Sometimes it’s hard to find that voice of your own… But once you do… Don’t you ever let go!