Forget You by Cee Lo Green is one of my favourite songs of all time. It teaches me one of the most important lessons in life – knowing how to let go of my past.
The song tells the story of Green’s crush on a girl better known as “the heartbreaker” in its music video. The video shows Green trying to impress the girl as a youngster, when they are in secondary school, and again in their college years, but he keeps getting rejected. Towards the end of the video, Green has a light-bulb moment where he realises he has been too focused on “the heartbreaker”. “The Lady Killer” now realises he shouldn’t beat himself up for not being able to impress a girl.
The song is one of my favourites, not only because of Green’s jazzy voice and the adorable music video, but also because it applies to many parts of my life. Whenever I experience a failure or meet a hurdle I can’t cross, I spend a lot of time criticising myself for it. But many times, I should have learned to move on and sing Forget You, whether it’s been about school, work, or relationships.
One of the biggest roller-coaster rides of my life was when I was 16, and my two best friends left Hong Kong at the same time.
Although I could still send them WhatsApp messages, the time difference meant we eventually drifted apart. My best friends quickly adapted to their new lives overseas and made new friends, but it took me a long time to let go and begin building a new social circle.
This is where the song Forget You came in – I’d listen to it to give myself the motivation and courage I needed to speak up and make new friends.
Playing songs on shuffle on Spotify and coming across this song gave me a chance to reflect on the true meaning of forgetting one’s past and conquering challenges. My friends went overseas and no longer had time to maintain our friendships like they used to, but I shouldn’t spend the rest of my life resenting this. I should put myself out there and look for new friends. It’s a step – I strongly believe – that was important in my life.
Taking on new extracurriculars (such as Young Post’s junior reporter programme) changed my life, as I was able to meet so many new people including reporters and editors during my internship, and fellow JRs throughout my secondary school years. Joining public speaking and leadership initiatives gave me a chance to learn about the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, where I got a position as a public speaking training volunteer (and eventually a part-time job) to teach others about communication at the start of college.
I’m glad one of my lowest points in life gave me the chance to step out of my comfort zone and look for new friends through extracurriculars. These activities have formed some of my best memories growing up, from joining other JRs on Christmas trips to Macau, to having a student from one of the many JR workshops recognising me and asking, “Oh my god. Are you THE Joy Pamnani?”
I would have never found my passion for communication if I hadn’t started making friends outside school; if I had stuck to my past and not come through; and if I had never learned from Forget You.