I feel like I have lost one voice and gained another. Before I decided to take the path that led me to here I loved to perform. Acting was my world and I loved to sing and dance. Now, when I look back at that person, I don’t recognise her at all. It was only three short years ago that I was a smiley, happy, dancing musical theatre student that had no idea how cruel and unfair life was. Now I’m a struggling writer with no optimism or certainty about my future.
I made my decision. I chose a Creative Writing course because it felt like the right place to be. My acting dream was just that – a dream. It was never going to happen for me because by the end of my college years I realised that I loved to perform but I didn’t want to pursue it professionally. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I didn’t want to waste three years at university studying drama if I wasn’t sure about it. I’ve always been a writer but once I decided to study it at university level everything changed, it took over my entire life and now writing is all I ever do. That’s not such a bad thing because I love it, I really do, but where do I draw the line?
I can’t get over the voice that I have lost. After leaving college, I didn’t only leave my acting days behind me but I also started to neglect another talent and I don’t know if I will ever be able to get it back. That talent is singing and playing the guitar. I started playing in my late teens and as I made my way through university, I found myself playing less and less. I feel like I have found what I want to do now… I want to write. I just wish I hadn’t lost another talent along the way. I no longer have the same passion for music and it is really infuriating to write those words on this page.
Yesterday, I picked up my guitar and started playing. Nothing has changed; you never forget how to play. My voice on the other hand, I don’t know where it went. I could sing once. I was no Beyoncé but I had a nice voice and I enjoyed singing, writing songs and performing in acoustic bands with friends. I started singing in my bedroom and I couldn’t reach any notes that I could before. It’s almost like someone has taken away my voice and replaced it with someone else’s.
I’m out of tune, my singing is flat and every time I try to sing high my voice cracks. This has been going on for a while, years even. It doesn’t matter how much I warm up, it’s like half of my vocal range has been erased. I can’t seem to find my way back to my own singing voice. It’s upsetting for me to hear the deterioration in my own singing voice and I am even losing my musical ear. I recorded myself on a voice memo on my phone and when I listened to it back, I threw my phone across the room, nearly ended up in tears. I want my voice back to how it was and no matter how much I try, I can’t help but think that it is gone forever.
I could practice more, I could find more time to build my guitar skills again and do vocal exercises to strengthen my voice but I don’t have the motivation to do so. I keep thinking that I should leave my love of performing in the past and look towards the future but I can’t seem to let go. I look at my guitar case in the corner of the room, covered in a layer of dust it leans against the wall and I only feel sadness when I look at it. I want to pick it up and play it, the urge to do so will never go away but once I am singing along with the music I create, I can’t seem to enjoy it in the same way; my voice just isn’t the same anymore. I don’t want to get up on a stage any time soon because it really isn’t me anymore; all I want is to enjoy singing and playing by myself without feeling resentment and frustration.
I’ve found my voice as a writer. I just wish I could find my way back to the voice I lost. I believe that if you set your mind to something you can achieve anything… but will I take my own advice? Probably not. I don’t know if I will ever get my singing voice back again but I do know I have to be patient (which is something that I am not). I also know that I have to practice more often. However, saying and doing are two entirely different things. The choice is my own and if I want change my singing voice, well, I will have to do something about it.