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Monday, January 13, 2014

Don't die with your music still in you..

This is not a post about death.  Although I did attend a funeral today, my thoughts are actually centered on life, and more importantly, living.  At 34 years old, on this day, the difference is finally apparent to me.

As we approached 2014, around early December 2013, I really felt as if I had gone mad. Not foaming at the mouth crazy, not mentally or emotionally unstable either.  Truthfully, I felt as if my logic and tenacity had led me to an illogical and distracting conclusion.  To put it simply, after earning a Bachelor's Degree, starting a Master's Degree, working for a couple of years, then earning a degree in Cosmetology, I decided that the perfect way for me to lay the groundwork for eventually singing would be to go to Nursing school in the evenings, while working a full time job during the day.

I finally had a Susan Powter moment with myself...."STOP THE INSANITY"

It helped that my friends mom, upon hearing the news of my newest educational endeavor, told him that I would one day be the most educated unemployed person in America. I was really pissed at first, but then I realized....she was right....almost...

I had to really think about what I was trying to achieve or prove by doing this.  I realized that I love the "pats on the back" that I get from doing what others think they can't do.  Sure, I have all the grace and compassion to tell people "If I can do it, you can do it" But in the end it was all covering up something deeper.

I am still afraid to dive in, sing, and make music.

I started this blog in December of 2009 as a way to make myself accountable, to put myself out there, and to even "put that energy out there" so to speak. I named my blog "The Timid Chanteuse" because that's what I felt then, like I was just on the verge of getting over my fear, and all I needed was to whisper that to the universe, (and the few readers I had) and magically it would happen. I sometimes hear people talking about "putting that energy out there", which makes them sound really spiritual, when it is usually connected to some materialistic desire.

What I realized last month, is that what I needed was to "put that energy inward" instead of "out there". No matter how many times I heard it, it has taken this long for me to realize that the only true change comes from inside of me. Studying nursing is going to make me a nurse...not a performer.  Seems like simple logic for someone with a Master's Degree. Why not take those thousands of dollars I was about to pay out of pocket (because after a Bachelor's, Master's, and Cosmetology diploma I can't borrow anymore) and go to a cabaret workshop, find a better voice teacher, take piano lessons....

So, I quit my second job that was making me miserable, and have gone back to the basics. Meditating twice a day, reading a book called The Practicing Mind, turning off the lights and all electronics at 11:00 (no matter what). I'm practicing the piano, vocalizing, and looking for a new voice teacher.

As for the title of the post, I was watching Wayne Dyer's The Power of Intention last night, and felt awakened by his discussion of The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. I was busy taking notes when he stopped me in my tracks by saying "Don't die with your music still in you..." Even though he was speaking in general terms to the audience, the deeper meaning of that moment was not lost on me.

Contemplating life is not living, researching singing and wanting to sing is not singing. The funeral I went to was moving and beautiful because a man had lived life fully and given of himself to so many people. No one can be touched by a life lived in my head, a song sung in my imagination. No one will eulogize all the things I kept wrapped up in my head.

I commit myself to putting energy inward, so that the music can flow out.

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