People have been nagging me to write more often on my blog, and just like a rebellious teenager; the more people nag, the more I dig my heels in. That’s mature isn’t it? The problem is that I’m not a teenager…I’m thirty-errrrr..something.
Part of the problem is that I often feel I don’t have anything good to write about. I’ve been keeping busy, and there are many exciting things coming up in my life, but every time I sit down to write, it ends up being about the hard stuff. I figure that people don’t want to read about those times. The times when you’re not sure what you’re doing, or if you’re on the right path, or about how you wonder if you should have gone into astro-physics because it would have been an easier life. All of these thoughts and MANY more pass through my often cluttered mind, but I have recently found some clarity.
THOSE ARE EXACTLY THE TIMES WHEN I SHOULD BE WRITING.
I should be chronicling this time of my life and career. If not just for me to look back on when I’m old(er) and grey(er), but for the next generation of willful and blindly confident young musicians. God willing, I’ll be able to pass at least one bit of information or inspiration on to one person. That would make me feel happy and useful.
People have been asking me a lot lately about what advice I’d give to them as they begin their journey as singers. It’s a tricky thing to give that kind of advice. Those who are brave enough to ask will often take your word as the word of God. That’s a lot of pressure. I try my best to offer encouragement, self-awareness and self-sufficiency. If I sit down and think about it carefully, as I am right now, this is what I would say to those embarking on a life as an artist: Hold on to your confidence and fearlessness.
Turn up the volume on that tiny inner voice that whispers, “Go for it. You can do it.” Turn it up and leave it on as loud as you can. Hold on to it with every fiber of your being and do not let anyone or anything or any situation take an ounce of it away from you. Guard it like you would your sibling, or favorite pet, or partner. Hold on to it tightly, because everything in this world is going to try and take it from you. Choose to excel and not compete with others. Choose self-esteem, not self pity, and listen to that inner voice and not the random opinions of others. Most of all, pursue things that speak to your heart and do not let anything get in your way. Also, be aware that things change as we change. You don’t have to have the same goals as you did 1, 5, 10 years ago. Be open to change and try your best to live in the moment. Let the past go, don’t worry about the future, and just be thankful you’re here now.
Cue the teenagers running as fast as they can in the other direction toward astro-physics. That may have gotten too heavy. Whatever. It’s good advice…I think.
These past few months, ok…years, have been pretty challenging. There have been a lot of unforeseen changes, a lot of hard decision making, and a lot of really humbling, patience-testing, character building situations. Along with all these difficult times, there have been AMAZING things. I have a niece AND a nephew, I have a wonderful and supportive boyfriend, a handful of friends who haul me out of what feels like the depths of despair, a select number of family members who actually try to understand me, and I have my health. These are not things to take lightly. These are things to be treasured, nurtured and to be thankful for every single day.
My Mom has a brain tumor. She fell down the stairs and broke her toe, mangled her leg, and gave herself a concussion. They did a CT scan to make sure her concussion wasn’t something worse and they found a small tumor. That’s right, it’s small. Thank God. When you’ve had some hard times in your life (as my mother certainly has) it forces you to realize that everything happens for a reason, and that we should be thankful every day for small things in our lives. So, even though it sounds odd, tonight I’m thankful that my Mom fell down the stairs. Would we have ever found that tumor if she hadn’t? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s all part of some kind of plan that I am (unfortunately) not in charge of.
I am committing to writing more. There it is in writing. There are plenty of good things to celebrate and commemorate. Stay tuned for my next entry (which I promise will be more light hearted and fun) about my incredible experience at Opera Santa Barbara. I just finished performances of The Marriage of Figaro as the Countess, and I have lots of fun and exciting things to report. See? I ended on a high note. I’ve been known to do that.