Friday, November 4, 2005


I’m having a bad week, for a variety of reasons. I knew, when I started studying voice, that there would be certain doors that would be closed to me because of my late start. Still, I really felt (feel) that singing is what I’m supposed to do, something that I need to do. Generally, I think my attitude about it is pretty good. I’ve had a lot of successes, and I’m grateful for those opportunities. However, there are those weeks, like this one, when the odds seem to be stacked so high all around me that I can’t see out to my next step. When programs do not grant me auditions, and I’m left to wonder what I did wrong (Did I audition for them before I was ready and make it on to some sort of black list, never to be heard again? Is my resume pathetically underdeveloped, in their eyes, for a singer my age? Is there some horrible, glaring error in my recording that I missed before sending it out?); when a local company doing an opera I’d really love to do is taking forever to make calls, and even though nobody else has heard anything, I can’t shake the feeling that if they really wanted to hire me I would have heard already; when all of this is set against a backdrop of incredibly positive feedback about my singing recently; and when I feel like I’ve made so much progress in the last year, I am left in a state of confusion, frustration, and disappointment. Such is the business of singing (and of many things), I know, but sometimes I have to ask myself, why? Why am I doing this to myself? And while I know in my heart that I know the answer to this question, some days something in me just won’t stop asking. There are few things more frustrating in life than not being given a chance. To know you can do something and not get a chance to prove yourself is one of those things that are just not fair.

Add this to a particularly frustrating editing job, 100 3- and 4-year-olds high on Halloween candy and coming off a week of vacation, and a new boss who is extremely difficult for me to work with musically and personally, and the result is a very cranky girl.

When I look over the last couple months, and the coming months, objectively, I know that things are not so bad. I just finished singing a lead role and two performances of one of my all-time favorite pieces. I have some fun gigs coming up and some exciting possibilities. I have been granted some auditions and I realize that the important thing is to focus on the opportunities that I do have and make the best of them. I’ve been blessed(?) with a stubbornly optimistic outlook (my mom calls it a disease), that never allows me to remain in these states of depression for long, and even as I write this I feel somewhat better, though I’m determined to wallow and pamper myself a little for the rest of the evening (no editing, no planning for tomorrow’s classes, just me and my book that I’ve been trying to finish for the last month, and maybe some leftover Halloween candy).

M-MV, one of my favorite blogs, seems also to be fighting a bad day, and had some advice that has helped me immensely this afternoon.

“I choose this. Again. And again. Every time.”

I know that this path is one that I’ve chosen, and one that I continue to choose with each passing moment. I don’t have control over everything that happens along the way, but I do, ultimately, have complete control over my outlook, my reactions, and my choices. I know that I could choose another path at any time. That’s not happening today. Probably not tomorrow either. I’ll let you know if I change my mind.

And, finally, thank you, M-MV, for reminding me:“Without the occasional bad day, I might fail to recognize just how damned good I have it. So, I embrace the bad days and their aftermath, too. May we all have a few if only to remind us how good the rest of the days are.”


Beth said...

I'm sorry you are having a bad week! Being another eternal optimist I can totally relate. Maybe it is a Virgo thing. Please do pamper yourself. You are awesome. Try to enjoy the down side, and like your friend said, the opportunity to choose again and again. Kinda like marriage, now that I think about it.

© 2003-2007 M-mv said...

You're welcome.

Here's to bad days, then.

Best regards.


P.S. Hey, and thanks for the kind words about M-mv.

ACB said...

I'd say "sorry" that you're having such a rough time, but it seems like you see the good in it. Or at least the reason it exists. And therefore, it's not so bad. Learning and growing can be painful, but being certain that what you're learning and how you're growing is right... it's a good feeling.

I might not get to see you until we're "shackin' up" in NYC, but we'll have some good times and good talks then. =]

Ariadne said...

Am totally 100% with you on these dark nights of the soul, dear M.

Just know that on those black nights, in the twilight mix of confusion & hope, as well as on the brightest sunny days, we're with you.

You are *never* alone! : )

(CRUNCHETY, CRUNCHETY, CRUNCH ... happy sound of fall leaves underfoot...)