Do you remember what disc you first purchased with your own cash? I do. Macy Gray’s On How Life Is. Do you remember the first CD single you got as an Easter present one year? I do. Mariah Carey’s Hero CD Single. Can you remember every word to a song upon first listening to it *if you really really really really really really like it?* I can.

Some of the babies.

I wanted to be a popstar. I wanted to be a popstar so bad. Once upon a time I used an application on my parent’s old Compaq PC that allowed me to create CD sleeves for all my albums. I remember one was called “Telephone Poles”. I wrote the whole album after a family vacation we took on a cruise. I saw the first boy I had a crush on, and nothing obviously came of it. In between Michelle Branch’s Hotel Paper and Dido’s Life For Rent I survived; and wrote an album. Yes, I actually wrote eleven (all my CDs would only ever be allowed to have 11 songs) songs that ranged from heartache to survival, and making it all work out in the end. Love always conquered.

Somewhere in between my short-lived Rap career (I tried to be a male version of Trina– I did grow up in Miami after all) in high school, and realizing I never had a viable voice or marketing campaign (I’m no Ricky Martin/Enrique Iglesias and I’m also Cuban – not Puerto Rican or Spanish – Pitbull works because he’s a Cuban rapper), I decided I would go to nursing school and give up on all my childhood dreams. Instead of realizing my dreams of pop stardom, I went away to college and found myself falling more and more in love with music that resonated with me. Needless to say, I was a music junky, but I wasn’t a music whore. I didn’t like just anyone or anything. I didn’t like flash-in-the- pans. I liked good artists, and good girl groups, and good music that made you feel good, and made you feel. Music is emotion sung.

You may think to yourself, “I wonder what type of popstar this writer would have been?” I can answer that too!! I would’ve been great. Like, Taylor Swift great. I wouldn’t have been in a boyband (I think they’re useless – girlbands are IT). I would’ve written or co- written everything on my albums, unless I was covering one of the classics, or putting a spin (“what it should’ve sounded like”) on a song that I really liked but felt wasn’t given the chance it deserved. I would’ve had a dance breakdown in all my music videos. I would’ve decided what each of my album sleeves looked like, and all my lyrics would’ve been in a booklet that came in a stapled book (only) with page numbers and pretty fonts. I would’ve cried every time I won an award, I would’ve donated money to St. Jude’s Foundation, I would’ve purchased my parent’s a beautiful home in Miami the minute I could afford it. I would have eventually relocated to some fun city like Nashville or NYC (even though I don’t like it) as it was necessary to live in one of these cities in order to have a viable music career, and have either Faith Hill or Mariah Carey as your neighbor. Thinking about it, I would’ve also moved to Switzerland in order to share that lake with Shania, cos I mean – she’s the shit.

At eighteen I was forced to attend college in Tallahassee, Florida and earn a degree in Nursing. Let me be serious for a moment and tell you that I absolutely love nursing; but I wanted to be a popstar.

THE GIRLS ALOUD: Arguably one of the greatest music moments in history.

There was this one time one of my dear friends whose name has been changed to Deeb asked me what I would’ve been if I hadn’t become a nurse. I told her I wanted to be a popstar – that was the only other profession that would’ve made sense for me. I would’ve changed my name to something more “friendly” and “accessible”. I would’ve always thanked God in my liner notes on the album booklet. I would’ve also always thanked my parents and fans last (because they were definitely not the least). Deeb thought it was extremely intriguing that my answer was “POPSTAR!!” She had actually been to one of my fiancé and my house parties where I literally broke it down during “Oops… I Did It Again” and had every dance move on point, including vocals (not really), so she knew that it all actually made sense in my head.

Gloria Estefan once said “some dreams live on in time forever” (see Reach from her 1996 album Destiny). I didn’t know what she meant back then; but I do now.

I  will forever be the greatest popstar that never was. Sorry world, but at least I gave Taylor a chance.

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