For the longest time I struggled with the image of myself.
I love that I laugh loud, that I walk barefoot, that a hundred ideas swirl in my head and I don’t have a straightforward answer to “what do you do for a living?” no matter how confusing it seems sometimes.
I also love putting on some red lipstick, feeling pretty, embracing and embodying that feminine energy I’ve been running away from for a long time. I think I was afraid of it. Because I didn’t want to lose that child within. That skill, power I have to play, all the time and with everyone. That my fantasy works all the time, that I dance in the middle of the street, that somehow at every event I end up at the kids’ table.
And those 2 don’t go together, right?
Boxes are clear, categories in order. It’s known what is “expected”. Pants can be worn only if you sing pants roles. Short dress is not worn in evening auditions. CV looks like this, this you mention, this you don’t, hands are not to be moved too much, but also not to be held stiff, stand still, every hair in place.
Whenever I’d come to an audition or competition – it would be difficult to differentiate us. From chosen arias to clothes to Instagram stories. Perfectly trained army it seemed. But I never felt like a part of that army. I had that complex that I’ve chosen this career too late. So insecure in what I was doing, my voice shaking, counting and fearing every mistake, obsession with technique to the point where I stopped and realised
And ever since I’ve chosen to be an opera singer, I’ve been asking – and where’s my place?
Once at an audition a conducter showed me to move further away from him because his ears hurt. Another time I was told I’m too closed up and stiff and that I should open up. Then another time I was told I should sing certain type of roles because of my character. That I can’t sing another type of roles because of my age. Always – one dimension.
Suffocating. From “musts”. From shrinking to fit in holes. From cutting parts so that my foot can fit into a shoe made up of “had, should, musn’t”. From hiding all of what didn’t fit in that shoe. If I shrink, calm down, become more subtle, remove all other stuff, will I be good enough for you? I wasn’t. Because I couldn’t. And now – I don’t want to.
Here I am. With hair all over the place, barefoot, nails like a child, body of a woman, wild look under the eyebrows, childlike smile. Laughing out loud and snorting. Jumping around, grounded. Playful, dancing, ambitious. Did I mention – loud?
And I’ll be loud. I’ll be everything. Only then and like this do I feel completely me. And I can. I can be both feminine and playful, messy-haired and serious, actress, singer, boss, creator, storyteller, oiler, partner, dramatic, joyful, serious, strict, emotional. Because I am so. Aren’t we actually all so many things? Take one part out of the equation – it will result in suffocating. Falling. Leg shaking, throat closing.
To make one thing clear – I’ve been surrounded with people who always wanted the best for me. But I’ve also met with the sentence “that’s how the system works”. And it does. But, I’m not accepting to be suffocated for the sake of the system. There are so many approaches, estheatics, and I’ve listened to every single one of them. And I believed in every of them, trusting every authority but my own. And no one could really lead me until I haven’t decided what it is that I want and went for it, no matter what.
I don’t know if I can be a part of the system like this. But if not – I’ll make my own. I’m not walking in shoes that are not made for me anymore. I’ll rather walk barefoot on some wild, unknown path, but that’s mine. Whole.