Written by Wafia
There was a moment the first time we ever met where I vividly remember feeling and knowing that this person was going to play a really pivotal role in my life. I said no when he asked me out, he came on pretty strong but this was my first so I just thought that was normal and eventually I caved. When things were bad between us (and they were a lot) I would always go back to that initial feeling in an effort to justify his actions, like this love was chosen for me therefore what do I know?
We worked together and fell in love. When we were in a good place, the music was great. We wrote some of my favourite things so I’m always going to be thankful for the songs we made and the time we spent. But in that was all this strange resentment. The bigger the songs we worked on became, the busier it made me and the more he would try to pull me down. Like my success was only allowed if it worked for the timeline he had in mind for us. And I let him lead.
Everything came to a head when I was asked to do a session that he wasn’t invited to be a part of. In my head it was a no brainer, I had to do it. To him it was a complete act of betrayal and that I was “professionally cheating” on him. He was really hurt and I did feel bad for him but I knew what I wanted to do was go to that session and write a great song with people I admired. We fought about it a lot, he apologised, we fought about it again, he apologised again and that’s how all our fights went down. When he apologised there was almost this expectation of me to say sorry, shrink, and tell him I won’t do the session. That wasn’t honest though and those words could never leave my mouth, and that just made him angrier.
Even after the session was done (and I came out of it with one of my favourite songs) I was made to feel guilty about it. We still fought about it constantly even months later and one day it dawned on me that he’s never ever going to let this go so we decided to break things off. I realised I had been shrinking and diluting myself and my ambition down for him for two years and that was totally on me. I stroked his ego, I let it get to that point. He had every reason to believe I would cancel that session, I’d never really disagreed with him or put up a fight till this. But I’d also never been backed into a corner like that and in it, I realised I would pick me every single time.
A few weeks post-break-up I met Caroline Ailin. In talking to her I learned she had experienced something similar. There’s so much to be gained in choosing to be vulnerable with a stranger sometimes, particularly in songwriting sessions. This day happened to be the day I said to her “I would pick me ever time” and she said that phrase had to be the song. It’s been one of the songs I’m the most proud of because I’m honestly really proud of the way I carried myself in that situation and then out of it.
Honestly, I feel bad for us, him & I never stood a chance. I come from a family where big sacrifices are normalised and the blueprint I had for love was rooted in endurance. His personality fit perfectly in what I already knew. I don’t doubt that I loved him but upon reflection, the thing I was so sure was Love At First Sight was actually just familiarity.
I come from a family where big sacrifices are normalised and the blueprint I had for love was rooted in endurance. His personality fit perfectly in what I already knew. I don’t doubt that I loved him but upon reflection, the thing I was so sure was Love At First Sight was actually just familiarity.
PHOTOS JINGYU LIN
Wafia is a 24 year-old RIAA-Certified Gold, Muslim, Iraqi-Syrian, queer artist who is empowering marginalized communities and celebrating women in her music. Listen to her new single “Pick Me” here.