Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Own Worst Enemy = Me

Today while moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer I listened to myself sing in the echoing basement and realized that I sounded just terrible. And then something one of the neighbors said to Husband the other day came back to me in a flash: Have you considered duct tape? And then my brother this past weekend, also to Husband, How do you put up with this all day, while I was singing with my niece and nephew. Add to that, hearing over and over how much I've improved... well, I know it's a compliment, I really do, but in my twisted mind sometimes it translates to, "I must have really sucked before," since I don't like how I sound now. And then this evening, there I was in the basement, not liking what I was hearing at all. I forgot about how much I love studying voice, learning about music, learning about myself and all that - all I could think was that I've been wasting my time and money and I'll never have a pretty voice, and what the hell have I been doing to everyone around me and and and and, down that spiral ... and when I mentioned to Husband that I should just quit, he joked, "Hey, at least you'd be doing it at the end of the semester so you won't lose any money." I know he was kidding and that I have 100% support from him. But part of me thought, "Hm he's got a point there..." but THEN another part yelled in my head "NOOOOO!!!! You're continuing to study over the summer!!!" So that gave me hope in myself.

I know that this line of thought, all of it, from the beginning of the post, is all insane. I'm having a moment of self-doubt and it's turning into self-pity. The thing is, knowing that it's just some sort of moment and that it will pass doesn't make the moment any easier. I truly am my own worst enemy.

I just want to sound pretty. Is that too much to ask? I think I have to let myself like my voice. I have to hear the niceness in it, the good stuff, as I learn more and add more layers. I have to be patient - that's the hardest part! I want instant results!! Finally, I have to remember that building my voice as I have does not mean that I was bad before. It just means... it means I'm better than I was. No judgment on the past - just a relative comparison.

I'm not writing this to beg or ask for compliments. I just felt like sharing/venting/working through my self-doubts. This vocal journey I've been on feels like a roller-coaster ride sometimes. I'm up, I'm down, I'm all twisted around. The highs are high, the lows are low. I sound like such a drama-llama right now. I should probably stop typing and go slap some sense into myself.

Ok, off I go to do that now.


Anonymous said...

Except for the part about husbands and neighbors, I feel like I totally could have written this. Every time I feel like I've improved, I think about how much worse I was before, and it takes all the joy out of the improvement. Or I get frustrated when my voice isn't doing what I want it to, which also leads me to think of how bad I must have been previously. But I keep telling myself that I'm constantly improving, trying to focus on that positive aspect, and the anticipation of how much better I will be after just a few months takes some of the sting out. Join me in my mantra: "constant improvement, constant improvement..."

Susan said...

Yes!!! It's nice to know I'm not alone on this roller coaster! Thanks!

Banawoman said...

Years ago my brother bought a rather expensive guitar, taught himself to play adequately, and formed a rock band. To this day, he writes songs, plays gigs for parties and gatherings, and the man CANNOT sing. He's totally flat. Just to be sure, he sent me a CD a few years ago. Still flat. You know what? He doesn't care. He loves doing it. (I gather his band is loud and diverse enough to disguise this central flaw.) I've never seen a reason to discourage him in this pursuit because he gets what he wants out of it! Go, Bro!

So,how drab would your life be without the joy of singing while you fold laundry, taking voice lessons and hearing yourself improve, (not to mention the therapy of it!), thrilling to live opera, blogging about all of it and best of all, having something to be passionate about? There will always be some people who will disparage your passion because it makes them feel drab.

Feel free to sparkle fearlessly.