This morning I checked my emails as always–deleting the spam, flagging messages I’ll need to respond to, making sure no students had emailed me–and I came across a gem of an email from a fellow classical singer who had just stumbled upon an article I wrote for Classical Singer Magazine 4 years ago entitled Why I Sing
This article, written at a time when I had no job prospects, no performances, and no auditions on the horizon, was a reality check for me. I asked myself the question of “why do I sing?” but what I really meant was “why should I keep singing” …and the explosion of words poured straight out of my soul in a matter of minutes. I felt like a little Jiminy Cricket was on my shoulder whispering the words to me. Now that I am more settled into my voice, my many careers, and my life, these words still live in a place of honor at my voice studio for those days when I need a change of perspective and a little reminder of exactly why I spend hours each day practicing, why I drive 8 hours a week for voice lessons, why I use all of my vacation time to perform in music festivals, and why I sing.
Last night, I was having a similar crossroads moment with my writing. After a 12 hour day of work, the last thing I wanted to do was write yet another blog post. I made a resolution to write more frequently, but my excitement was waning and, frankly, I just wanted to sleep. I wondered if anyone even read or cared about what I wrote. Was it even worth my time and mental capacity to formulate yet another post and try to make it interesting and worth reading? But, I did it. I wrote another post. Maybe it wasn’t my best, most introspective post ever, but I kept my resolution.
Then this morning an email brought me these words from a complete stranger:
“…I was purging some of the older back issues of magazines that I might not need any longer. You will hopefully be happy to know that your contribution to the December 2010 issue of Classical Singer was the only thing that I kept- I recycled the rest…I really want to thank you for sharing what you wrote for the singer community and thank you for being so honest and for writing with such positivity! It has helped me to remember why I sing (after a lot of rejection in general), and I cannot thank you enough for reinstilling in me the joy of singing and the knowledge that I really do use it as you said in your article- ‘When I get depressed, happy, tired, exhausted, excited, silly or any extreme of emotion, I turn to music to bring me back to homeostasis. Music keeps me centered. Music keeps me grounded. Music clears my mind and gives me a vacation, albeit a brief one, from real life.'”
Her kind words came just when I needed them the most: when I was questioning the worth of my writing. While my readership may be small, if I even help one person change their thoughts and see life differently, then the time and energy was well spent. This is why I write. This is why I will keep writing.
Thank you to all of my readers for inspiring me daily! Keep reading, keep sharing, and keep growing this beautiful community of musicians, athletes, and life-livers.
#bestrongin2015 yoga challenge: headstand. What does the world look like from upside down? Sometimes you just have to change your perspective to see the worth of your life and your work…