“I am not my music”

Music is my strength and my weakness. For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life. One of the greatest joys in life for me is to sing. It is the one thing about myself that I am exceptionally proud of. Singing is a piece of my identity, making up a huge part of who I am. And most of all, it gave me confidence and a sense of purpose.

I am heavily emotionally invested when it comes to singing and performing and I’m extremely passionate about my art. I do not really know how to describe it, but the feelings that wash over me during and after a good performance makes me feel almost at peace with myself, as if I have connected with my inner self somehow. It sounds strange, but it is an amazing feeling.

I had honestly never really thought about pursuing a career in music or studying music in college, but during my senior year in high school, I realized that I never actually wanted to major in pharmacy; it was just something that I thought I should do. I realized that I wanted to do something that I absolutely loved instead. It wasn’t until that year that I started taking private voice lessons and there was so much that I needed to learn. My voice journey had officially begun and it was humbling.

With the guidance from my private voice teacher, I auditioned for the music department here at The College of New Jersey and was admitted. It was the next chapter in my journey and I was extremely excited and nervous. I entered college, knowing fully well that being a music major would not be an easy task and that there was so much that I did not know and so many techniques that I still needed to learn.

I knew that singing is a process, but I did not think that it would be this hard. These two semesters have been incredibly difficult for me and so much harder than I ever imagined. The satisfying feelings that I once got from singing have been nonexistence. I have been letting myself down and feeling disappointed in my little, if any progress in my vocal techniques. I have been so frustrated and overwhelmed these two semesters that my stress and anxiety levels have skyrocketed. I spent so much energy and time trying to get better that I ended up becoming my own worst critic and pushed myself so hard that it only detracted from my efforts.

Lately, I have been doubting my skills and abilities, not only in singing but those negative feelings trickled down into many other aspects of my life as well. My self-esteem and confidence gradually diminished, leaving me feeling unmotivated and lacking energy. This became a nasty cycle. It sucked the life out of me and I have been depressed. For a long time, I was stuck feeling this way and it made me feel helpless and extremely vulnerable, constantly feeling that the one thing that I drew my strength from was what I was actually the worst at.

It got to the point that it was even a struggle to get out of bed in the morning and I withdrew from others into myself. It was then that I finally realized that something needed to change in my life. I have been taking small steps to overcome this and I realized that I am stuck right now because there is a lesson that I need to learn before I can move on to the next level and face my next obstacle in my journey.