Over a month ago I found out that I got the lead in this year’s university opera – a huge deal for me, who went through some downs more than ups with singing in 2016. I saw that as a huge affirmation of my work, skill, and worth that I had doubted so much last year. It was also the little bit of good news I’d had among the sea of bad – finding out my boyfriend (now ex) had to leave the country, and discovering that I had vocal nodules.
I’d pictured being the title role in the opera – the promo I’d get to do and the potential advertising with my face being on it, the joy of saying “I’m the lead” and proving to everyone that I was actually good at what I do. I was prepared. I was shocked at the prospect that they thought I was good enough to carry the whole opera – god, I even considered it could be a typo when I first saw it! – but I was prepared to show them that they made the right decision and to step up to the plate.
Fast-forward to yesterday (keep in mind, this is over a month after the cast list was emailed out) and I get an email from the head of department saying they’ve changed me to a secondary role…
So at first I call up my friend who was supposed to have that role and she checks her email, and basically – they’ve swapped us.
I can’t even tell you what this news did to me. I was feeling all kinds of feelings (still am!), including anger, shame, and sadness. Why would they get my hopes up, just to put me back in my place again? Did they think that I wasn’t capable enough? Well, clearly.
Keep in mind, I’ve been trying so damn hard to get my voice back to being healthy after finding out I had nodules – this hit me so hard that I wanted to hole up, quit, and never sing again. But what the turbulence of last year taught me, was how to talk through my feelings with someone I trust, and how to pick myself up and tell myself I’m worth something.
Guys, it is so hard to conjure up your own sense of self-worth when we as people tend to attach it to external things like getting that role, job, raise, or compliment from that boy or from our parents – but it’s something that is an incredibly useful skill, and essential for a healthy mind and to go forward in life. Know what you need in times like these. For me, it’s to talk to a friend who will pick me up off the ground (physically and/or emotionally) and long hot showers, as well repeating phrases about self-worth out loud to myself.
I’m still dealing with it, but I feel better about myself even after just a day, when I know if this same thing happened to be a year ago it would take me weeks to recover (also because I’m dramatic af). Anyway, I’ve sent an extremely gracious and undeserving email back, but not without saying that this should have been handled differently. I could have said more, been more angry…but this isn’t the hill I want to die on. (Knowing which hills to die on is also a good skill to have, highly recommend)
Anyway, my sub-heading for this blog is that this isn’t the place to come if you’re looking for sound advice. But hey, guess I’m just naturally preachy.