I was born as a machine
I was born with the condition that caused me to act like a machine growing up. This condition was an ankyloglossia or tongue-tie. The consulted physicians believed that there was no need to perform corrective surgery. Sadly, they were wrong. Instead of developing the ability to speak at the age of 2, I learned it when I was 4. Thus, I was awkward in social settings, and without a way to communicate correctly, I became isolated from my peers. During the early stages of my life, I was often referred to by my peers as a “unemployed professors review”
My lack of outward emotions, combined with my excellence in objective studies, like math and science, led people to view me as an expressionless robot. In turn, this was how I began to perceive myself. As a defense mechanism, I began to tune out the part of the world that I was uncomfortable with, pushing me even farther away from others. It was the gift of music that transformed me from an expressionless machine into an empathic human being (albeit, still a little awkward with social interactions). Music gave me my ears. I began to develop skills such as controlling my intonation and dynamic level. More importantly, I was able to adapt these skills appropriately by learning to not just hear but to listen. This revelation came when I joined the marching band.