Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 280 or What I Threw Away

When I started this blog some time ago, I promised to be honest. Honest with you and honest with myself. So I have a confession to make.

Once upon a time, I had a gift. A gift that came easily. A gift I did not respect.

Once upon a time, I could sing. Really sing. I say that with no ego. I am simply acknowledging now what I didn't then. But I threw it away.

Not like Whitney Houston. I didn't poison my body until the greatest voice of a generation was left to a gravely mess. No. First, I obviously did not have a voice of a generation. But I had a voice. My voice. And I neglected and disrespected it until it was no longer what it should be or what I now wish it to be.

Now. I miss that voice. I watch Glee and sometimes I start to cry. I see these beautiful young people who sing with such ease. Like I did. And like I can no longer.

I still have a voice. But not that voice. Not that range. Not that easy. Because at a young age, I gave up on myself and on my voice. I simply stopped trying. Stopped practicing. And voices need care. They need attention. And mine was denied that attention.

Now twenty years later, I want what I had and I have to accept that it's gone. I can get some of it back with a lot of work but my stratospheric soprano is forever gone. My easy belt is gone. It's like Joni Mitchell said, "You don't know what you've got, till it's gone".

But somewhere inside of me, there is a voice telling me that I need to sing. So I am committing to starting where I am and respecting what is still here. I can't undo two decades. I can't rewind the tape, I can't push the restart button. But I can choose to be where I am and work as hard as I can from this point.

So that's my confession. My life's shortcomings are not simply a refection of a bad deal in the career card game. I like to think that. It's almost comforting. But if I am going to being fully honest and authentic, if I am going to look back at this year and feel that I lived up to the title of 38 and Growing, I have to acknowledge that I was not always a true participant in my career. In my life. I embraced an image of myself that celebrated my insecurity and rejected my strengths. Why I did that requires more hours on a therapist's couch and more blog entries than we have time for here. Let's just accept the fact that I took a really wrong turn at one point.

So now as I close in on the big 39, I am trying a course correction. So I don't look back at the next twenty years with regret. So I can say that I saw my gifts and I did not throw them away.
That I did not pave over paradise.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away the D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard my screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I said don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

17 comments:

ChiaLynn said...

I didn't sing then, but I wanted to. And now, I'm learning. Shall we do this together?

Frau said...

I love Glee they are the hardest working in Hollywood right now. The fact you have a voice is amazing gift..sing again...do it!

Aging Mommy said...

Do what you love doing as far as you are able, I think that is what life is about. So go do your singing, enjoy it and take it as far as you want and are able to do so. I am sure that far in this case is much further than you think it might be right now too.

Tired Mom T├ęsa said...

I've always, always, always, wished I could sing. I love to sing but my voice is much to be desired. So I sing to myself and to my kids but that's about it. I'm glad you've rediscovered your voice and are thinking about using it again. If you have a gift use it and be thankful for there are always others who can only dream of what you've been blessed with. Good luck!

mama-face said...

oh, I get you. I used to play the piano quite well; yet I let life get in the way. You always seem to know how to look a problem right in the eye and take it on. you rock.

(love that song btw)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Good for you! It's great that you're returning to something you love! High Fives.
jj

....Petty Witter said...

A gift I'd love to have. I love to sing even if I am totally tone deaf. Thanks for your honesty.

Tiffany said...

I'm so jealous...I've never been able to sing a note!! But I sure like to sing. Here's hoping you can coax it back out!!

Nancy C said...

You're inspiring. It's amazing how we "average" ourselves out of joy. XOXO

F said...

Hey woman! I didn't know you could sing! I did know you could really carry your voice to be heard over many young voices (can we say mulitiple kindergarten parties, anyone?) I would love it if you nurtured that again. My mom sang. She loved it.
I thought of you last night, as I saw Wicked. It wasn't as powerful as the first time as there was an undertudy in Elphaba's role who just wasn't on par w/ the Glinda they had and it showed somewhat. that said, it was still wonderful to see. OH, I love that play. I now want to see it on Broadway.

You have many gifts, some neglected, some apparent and some undiscovered. I have faith in you dear. Find them again and roll w/ it. I bet this summer w/ your activity, you will bring that stuff up again. I bet!

Unknown Mami said...

I've never had a voice and I've always wanted one. Cherish the voice that you do have and nurture it.

"I embraced an image of myself that celebrated my insecurity and rejected my strengths." - I think I recognize myself in that statement.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Course corrections can be scary and hard...but also liberating and exciting. I hope yours is more of the latter.

chitra said...

Traci
I was also like you. I knew i could sing but lack of encouragement was also a cause. Few years back i started learning an instrument and I sing and enjoy to my hearts conetnt.it helps me to rewind also.So justgo ahead and keep doing what you like .hugs my dear friend.

Midday Escapades said...

What an honest and beautiful post. I hope you received some healing from putting this out there. I wish you much luck in starting back again. You know, every decision we make has a 50/50 chance of being the right one, and so mistakes are made and life must go on. *hugs*

Melissa B. said...

My favorite Joni Mitchell song. So prophetic. You just might get that voice back...metaphorically, at any rate.

Holly said...

I cannot sing...I admire anyone who can. I find myself at )newly) 39 thinking I am too old to go back...but truth is we are not...go forth and conquer! And now I will be singing to myself all night.

only a movie said...

I used to sing as well... not like you, but it was a huge part of my life in H.S. and college. Glee is my favorite show for that reason.

Thanks for stopping by...!