Wednesday 13 September 2017

You'd better know yourself little girl....actually that's middle aged woman now.

So, it's no secret that I've been going through quite a lot of shit recently, shit of my own making and imagining, but, nonetheless, shit. Just when I think I have life sorted something happens that freaks me out and changes my outlook. I tell you, it is exhausting. Probably not helped by the fact that I spend quite a lot of time on my own. This gives my brain too much time to think, something it really shouldn't do.

I met a friend a couple of weeks ago, a successful actress friend, who has had to put her professional life on hold to look after someone close to her. I could tell that this was hard for her and the juxtaposition of wanting to do something but needing to do something else, at least for now, was difficult to cope with. This got me to thinking about me! Of course, it's always about me innit. 

I chose, a few months back, to turn my back on performing (for now). Having had a bit of time to mull over this decision, I know that it was peculiar and unnecessary. Yes auditioning was driving me up the wall and trying to keep all of the schools I teach at happy was stressing me out and something did need to change. However, I worry now, the longer I leave it, the harder it will be to get out there and sing again.

I know I am not the only 40 something performer to go through this sort of thing but it is so easy to close down, beat your chest and yell woe is me. Easier than just doing it. There are plenty of places I could go and sing if I wanted to (unpaid, of course, nobody seems to want to pay me to do it right now) but my inbuilt fear of failure puts a stop to that. I live in a fantasy world most of the time. Imagining all the things I could do but probably never will. I care deeply what people think of me which is a terrible way to live. I don't want to be an arrogant knob but always bowing down and implying I'm not worthy isn't acceptable either.

I know myself a lot better than I did 10 or 20 years ago, and I do wish I knew then what I know now, but I find it really difficult to let people see the "real" me. I talk a lot of shit but I have so much more shit I could spout if I let myself, some of which might actually be pertinent or amusing. I was talking to a really good friend a few days ago and realised I have real trouble with eye contact when I'm talking to people. It feels like if I look them in the eye they will realise I am full of shit and walk away but if I say what I want to say whilst looking at the wall beside them I might get away with it. 

So, from now on I will always have the immortal words of Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle ringing in my ears, not "nobody puts Baby in the corner" (although that is relevant too) no, "don't look down, look right here", I won't point at my eyes while I talk though. I think that is one of the hardest tasks I have set myself ever. I have given myself palpitations thinking about it. Who knows what is going to happen in the coming months/years but I do know something has to happen. If I'm not careful I will get to my deathbed and think "what on earth did I do with my life?" At least I will be able to say I saw all of "Game of Thrones" (fingers crossed I make it to the final series).


  1. Everyone knows themselves a lot better than others that's what I think. And this article is really a must read one. Thank you!

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