Striving

I have a secret to share.

For months I didn’t tell anyone, but yesterday I spilled the beans to an old friend and it felt good to get it off my chest. While I was still struggling with it I was ashamed, but now that I am over it I can bring it to the light.

My apologies to those of you expecting something salacious but my secret is this: For a while a few months ago I considered not singing anymore. It’s not that I planned to take a vow of silence, I just wasn’t sure about the striving anymore. I thought maybe it was time to stop working so hard, to stop training my voice, so to speak. Maybe it was time to stop going to auditions and taking lessons and learning new rep and working so damn hard.

I was sick, stressed out, and overwhelmed. I was exhausted all the time and was giving what little energy I had to people, not to practicing. I was putting myself out there a little bit, and when I did the rejections came over and over. I was busy and beaten down.

The thought crept in: Maybe this is the end of the road for me. Maybe this is as good as I am going to get. Maybe I should stop striving. Like any good conservatory grad I pushed the thought aside – you don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree and then stop, right? Besides, what would people say? Wouldn’t everyone look at me and see a failure? In truth, I know plenty of people who gave up the life and now just sing for pleasure or not at all. You know what, they seem pretty happy. But I was ashamed to even consider it.

Yet one day I knew (and I wish I could remember what prompted this) that I had to sit with this idea for a while. I had to bring it out of the darkness and think about what it would actually mean. I had to take it to God and ask for the truth, even if the truth would be something I didn’t like. And since that day I took it to God in prayer, I haven’t given it another thought. I wrote “I am working too hard in a fallow season” and accepted that this was just a season and got on with my life.

Perhaps the time will come for me to cease my striving but now is not that time. Not because of pride or pressure but because this is what I am good at. Whatever other gifts I may have, music was my first and foremost, always, and was such an obvious combination of my blessing and my passion that not to develop it would be more than shameful. It would be sinful.

So for now I’m still singing, still striving.

This entry was posted in auditions, Health, prayer, singing. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Striving

  1. Keep singing, my friend, and never take this gift from God for granted. I know all too well that time and misuse, even in the name of singing for the Lord takes its toll on even the loveliest of voices. Through my own lack of faith in myself and God my singing voice was rendered silent 13 years ago and even today I struggle hard to produce the simplest of melodies. I was classically trained and sang for many years as a Cantor and Director of Music. A voice teacher friend of mine wants to dig around in my voice and psyche this summer and for the 1st time I’m going to just let it happen to see what becomes of it. At almost 53, however, I will be content with whatever reconnects. Take care of yourself in all manner and allow God to use whatever you have for His good. I’m positive you’ll be at peace and contentment and maybe blessed with more than you dreamed you could.

    Your voice is beautiful on the clip and reminded me of my own.

    • felicemifa says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I knew that you were musical from our exchanges but I didn’t know the extent of it. I am so happy to read that you are going to dust off the cobwebs this summer and give it another try. God will indeed, as you say, use whatever you have for His good. Please let me know how it goes. xoxox

  2. Jen says:

    I’m glad you didn’t quit. The world would be a little poorer, if you did. Little secret: I was thinking of throwing in the towel with composition, too.

  3. Pingback: Satisfaction, Here and Now | Felice mi fa

  4. Pingback: Do you want to be well? | Felice mi fa

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