As someone who is frequently told in my performance and in my life “that was great, but I just didn’t feel like I saw much of you” or ” you seemed a little cut off from the audience” or “you need to be vulnerable, not dead behind the eyes” (yes, I did actually get this one, and yes, it was ENTIRELY warranted😂😂), the ability to feel and be vulnerable scares the absolute shit out of me. I have thrown up walls and built up shields and fake personas for so long that I don’t really know how to pull them back down. As Brené says in this TED talk, I numb.
I can’t remember what it feels like to experience true joy because every time I do I find myself stopping and going “this isn’t right, stop feeling like this, you look stupid, get a hold of yourself.” I am a control freak, and emotions are something I try, but fail every time, to control, and mould, and have appeared in a linear and ‘normal’ fashion. This has lead to a serious strain on my mental health. I am exhausted all the time. I want to spend more time in bed than anywhere else. I look forward to days I can spend alone because it means I can leave the shields sown and be me, but even then, I find myself stopping myself and being someone else.
But no more.
In a performance class at uni a few weeks ago I stood up to sing with the thought in my head “fuck it, I don’t care if it’s crap, or if I’m not the best, I’m just going to enjoy this.” Anyone that knows me in a performance capacity knows just how out of line this sounds to my screwed up, control freak brain. And you know what, it was the best I’ve ever felt singing. It felt so free and right, and just normal. And I was promptly told it was the best I’ve ever sung.
So here goes, fuck it, I’m crap, I’m imperfect, and I’m just bloody brilliant! I’m off on a journey of self-discovery, to rip down those walls and shields and just be seen.
Wish me luck!