So today, you’re not going to hear from me. You’re going to hear some more from my friend, and editor, Shaylee. My next post is going to be about our most recent hang out together, but she seemed to have something on her mind so I gave her permission to run with it:
￼Yeah, I guess I kinda did have something on my mind. Kelsey and I were at theater group a few weeks ago. It was the the second time I had gone and the first time I’d met the director (she was sick the week prior). We spent the evening working on sounding. I thought it was going to be a walk in the park considering I spent all of high school in choir and still sing quite a bit. Turns out, I was wrong. Apparently success in theater means unlearning everything I’d learned as a singer.
Don’t get me wrong, our director complimented my singing as we were running scales. I was just too technical-too focused on showing others I was good and proving I belonged there. That is until in one particular exercise, she had us individually try and match both the pitch and “feeling” of a note. The notes she played were low, dark and rather scary so when it got to be my turn, I attempted to mimic that. In the beginning my voice cracked, but I saved it by the end.
“YES!” our director cried, “That first part was great. But then the singer in you wanted to fix it. Don’t do that. Let yourself be messy and imperfect.”
So after hearing that (and a few more instructions involving a dinosaur tail) I tried again. The sound that came out of mouth was like nothing I’d ever heard before and it felt really cool!
After things had wrapped up for the night, I kept replaying that moment in my head. Only once I let go and stopped caring about being good did I stop being nervous and start having fun. I realized I needed to bring that attitude to more areas of my life, particularly as a disabled person. I need to start accepting my body the imperfect thing that it is. You would think having been born with my disability, I would’ve done that a long time ago, but nope. I actively try and avoid doing anything that draws attention to the fact that I’m in a chair and try to function as “normally” as possible.
I’ve decided it’s time to start flipping the script and doing the opposite. It’s time to stop viewing my body and the way it functions as an inconvenience to others, time to stop apologizing for taking up space, time to stop avoiding clothes I like the style of because they might not look perfect sitting down-looking at you crop tops. It’s time I just generally stop caring what other people think and start embracing my body for what it is: perfectly imperfect. The rest will fall into place exactly as it’s meant to.