Today I had a major break through.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but for about ten seconds I had the twinge of a feeling that is so foreign to me that I almost didn't know what it was.
Wait for it...
I realized that I don't care what people think.
About how I sound in my recital tonight. About what I look like. (And I'm sure this new found confidence will last all of ten minutes.)
Of course, I feel like on some level, you have to qualify a statement like that-- because I've always hated the kind of performers that don't give to their audiences and that seem to be singing to themselves. You have to want to create something for your audience, and you want to make them love you. But I think it is so different than wondering whether or not you are good enough. I have worked my tail off to prepare myself to sing in public, to sing well enough to get paid for doing it. So, I think it is about time I get up on my high horse and go out there and stop worrying so much about whether or not what I have is viable, worthy, and fantastic enough for everybody.
I've been watching the Showtime series "The Big C." First of all, Laura Linney is AMAZING. But, more than that, it's really made me think about how I should be making the choices that make me feel good about my time spent here, as short as it is. I've made the choice to be a singer, to be in a position to be judged and rejected on a daily basis. And actually, I'm very happy with my choice. If I knew I had several months to live, I think I would only want to sing more.
We have a lot of categories we have to try to fit into as singers. I'm lucky enough at this point to sound like something that fits my look...finally, my little voice has grown up a bit. As far as the look thing goes, there are those who might tell me I should lose 15 pounds. To them I say, you would hate to be around me when I am hungry. Life is short, people. Eat the french fries. Maybe some would say I am getting too old to be an emerging artist. Maybe others would say getting married is going to hold me back. I defy the belief that there's only one path to anything. Whether it's heaven or a career in singing. It used to really annoy me in high school when everyone was talking about how important it was to "be myself." Why would I have wanted to be myself, seriously? And that is assuming that I knew who the heck I was in the first place, which I obviously did not. I spent all of college trying to be thin enough for boys to like me, and all of grad school trying to sing loudly enough for the other singers to like me. It was painful, and exhausting, and such a waste of energy. Think of all the time I spent feeding my fear, when I could have been learning to trust myself and the hard work I was putting in.
Now I'm sure that all of this lovely non-fearfulness is just the result of a good nights sleep and two days off. But I'll take it.