Maybe you think I’ve taken my talents for granted- singing, writing, making people laugh, connecting with people. But one thing should always be made clear to yourself, and that is your talents are yours. I always felt a need to perfect my talents so that it would appeal to what other people wanted from me. Am I singing too loud? Do I sound like they want me to? Like, their favorite artist? Am I writing things that people want to read? Should I share this or that? Am I making them laugh? The looming questions of what other people want, is a recipe for never figuring out what you really want and need.
I use to limit myself to one talent. Singing was my passion from the time I was able to vocalize and imitate sounds from my moms stereo that played Tina Turner “What’s love got to do with it?” over and over. I remember standing in the middle of the living room singing with her when Alicia Key’s album Diary came out. We slow danced together for what felt like an eternity of melodies. She looked down at me and said, “Wow your voice is amazing! Sing more!” I belted from my belly, words that I couldn’t understand; but I felt them. In that moment, I experienced what being in love was like years before I would ever comprehend it.
Writing has also always been my undying passion. I always felt like there was never a space to say everything I wanted to, so I created those spaces by entering writing contest, publishing my own children’s book when I was in the fourth grade, and watching my older brother win countless awards for junior writing contest. I’ve always been really good at word-play. That is, finding various ways to fit words in sentences that they would otherwise never be in. Words are so expansive. Words can be used to manipulate and persuade, and to tell a story to fit archetypes. Words are so expansive!
Much like words, we are expansive beings. It’s like we go hand in hand with a language curated perfectly for us. As expansive beings, I’ve found that there will be many things that I might be amazing at, but it doesn’t mean that that one thing will define me in this lifetime. After hundreds of vocal lessons, music teachers that never fulfilled their dreams, choral concerts, and “good jobs”, that singing wasn’t something that I wanted to capitalize off of nor put all of my energy in. My heart wasn’t in it and I feel like that’s so important as a creative.
However, I now find myself singing every moment of the day, just as I write every moment of the day. My goal is to continue to find ways to write professionally as a career. But I also set time apart to be a writer in my own space, with words that will probably never be shared with anyone. I wish someone would have told me that I could do it all. That I could arrange what I wanted for my life in as many categories as I would like. There were many people, including my parents, who wanted me to use my voice and share it with the world professionally. I can understand now that as parents they might have known just the surface of being a performer.
I’m writing this to say to you, it’s when we look at the things that truly make us who we are, that we tend to enjoy them and have a long lasting connection with them. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add things or remove things that no longer work for you. In my case, singing is still very much something that I love and enjoy and just because I’m not sharing it with everyone doesn’t mean it’s not here in the world. It provides relief for me, especially after a long day when I can sit on my floor and put on instrumentals that feed my soul. Although I never see this happening, writing could someday be in the same space as singing. But I do know that in some moments in my life, it will be a reflection of me. Therefore, I work hard at it and I support myself through the process of putting all my energy into it.
I’ve always felt that people were disappointed in me because I wasn’t fulfilling the dream that they wanted me to. I’m learning to bring forward the real parts of me, while also being open to the universe giving me other talents that I might gain in the future. I’m appreciative of the time I’ve spent with music, because it has healed so many things about me. You never know what I may revisit. And in the moments when I fear that I’m running out of time, I just remind myself that there are so many more experiences that will make me, me. Remember, your talents are yours- use them how you want.