Tonight, Selena came on TV, and my entire childhood flashed before my eyes. I can remember when it released in theaters, and although I hadn’t known much about her save her beautiful songs “Dreaming of You” and “I Could Fall In Love” I was drawn to her like Friday night. And afterwards, I had to have everything I could find. I purchased all of her albums, and sang them every night to my parents who laughed an rolled their eyes as I tried my best to mouth Spanish lyrics just right. "El Chico Del Apartamento 512" still makes my family laugh to this day, because they know that's my jam! As a matter of fact, my cousin Ashley and I went to a restaurant a few weeks ago, and they were playing Selena, and I almost got out of my seat and started dancing! I always liked to research online what all her songs meant because I just like to know, but the thing about Selena is even if you didn’t understand you could feel every ounce of joy or pain radiating from her beautiful voice.
When I look back, I’m so happy that the film released when it did, because it introduced me to such a beautiful artist. Even more, her story is one of the few examples portrayed in the media that people of color dream vibrant starscapes, and want to change the world, and try our best to touch as many people as God allows us to. That we fall deeply in love with life and people and art forms. I’ve never seen an unhappy photo of her, she always had the smile that seemed incandescently happy. She inspires me to sing my heart out. To meet the world as a dreamer, because dreams are agreeable fuel when matched with action. To inspire someone.
Her music was staying up late with my friends talking about boys we were crushing on. Wondering at the man who would come and make me feel "Amor Prohibido". Singing all of her songs and watching the film with my cousin as if we had never seen it before...laughing at "Anything for Selenaaaaaasss" and tearing up when she first won her Grammy Award.
And when I read Chris Perez’ heartbreaking homage to her, To Selena, With Love, I cried in my room with the lights dimmed as the pages filtered to a close, and we’re introduced intimately to the tragedy that took her away from us. I would say "snuffed out her light", but darkness can never snuff out the light. Her’s is a story that I’m not sure you can help but be moved by, and Dreaming of You will always be my daydream.