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Losing My Voice

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.

Comments

  • I’m like that with acting at the moment. I literally have no motivation. I was living in London, graduated from college, had an agent, ready to hit the ground running, 4/5 auditions later, loosing weight, changing my look and nothing. It was then I said to myself ‘is this making me happy?’ and ultimately it wasn’t, singing was and to be honest it always has. You have to do what makes you happy that’s priority. With practice and getting back into the swing of it I’m sure you will find motivation at some point, when you are ready :) xx

    • Lack of motivation is annoying isn’t it? I’m glad you realised that it wasn’t making you happy. It sounds like you were wise enough at the time to change the direction of your life. There’s no point living a lie, if it isn’t meant to be then some things should be left in the past. I’ve left acting and performing behind but music is something that I still want to pursue, even if it is just a hobby. It’s just finding the patience to improve my singing voice and guitar skills and finding the motivation to do something about it. All I know is music makes me happy. Maybe I should focus on improving my skills and try not to be so hard on myself? I think you’re right there. Maybe I’m not ready to do it yet. I will wait around, I’m sure the motivation will find me….. eventually :) xxx

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