Letting go is always easier said than done. When you are comfortable it is a terrifying prospect that one day you may need to just close your eyes and step off the edge into the unknown. But if you want to move forward in life then the leap is inevitable.
I can be quite an anxious person. I never used to be, I used be over confident and ballsy, thinking I was unstoppable, I'd chat away to strangers, spontaneously sing (sober) to a crowded room, be first to volunteer for pretty much anything . Then one day it changed, I felt like my world had been turned inside out.
Maybe because I didn't see it coming it made it more difficult to process. My parents splitting was a complete shock. Only two weeks before they did (they knew there were going to at the time) I said to them that, in my cocky way 'I'm glad I'm not a statistic, you know one in every 3 children is from a broken home. I'm glad I'm not'. I was oblivious, in my own little everything-is-perfect world.
I was a serious daddy's girl. Having three sporty, good looking, testosterone fuelled brothers and me the maths loving, all singing, all dancing 'chubby one' all in one house made it easy for me to hide behind my dad when life got all too hard. But it never really was hard. If my parents could provide me with something they would, dance classes, holidays, school trips, I had a great childhood. So when it all went away I did something stupid. I said I was ok. My brothers dealt with it in very contrasting ways but I just tried to take it in my stride, which led to some serious outbursts and mood swings.
I tried to be brave and nonchalant but I no longer had my shield that was my father. I went to uni thinking it was time for me to be the big man but it was all too soon. I was broken and being held together by a thread, my defences were down and I let all the bad things in. Drinking, arguing, bitching, I thought I was being strong like him but it was all fake. I didn't know how to be my own person and I allowed all the negative things people said to be get into my brain and settle. I thought without my Dad telling me these people were wrong then they must be right.
I found a sort of balance when I quit uni and after returning from Spain, began teaching. I was building my own little easy life and home, and yes some kids can be vile but now I was the one in control. It was all very lovely but I knew I needed more. Back to uni it was. But 5 years on I was still not accepting and processing my parents divorce. I still thought I had to be a bitch to be strong. I wouldn't let people touch me, I would kick in lockers, I would demean others, just to keep people at arms length. Once again, another stupid thing to do. Uni ended and my mind was still heavy with thoughts of not being good enough clashing with thoughts that I didn't really care. Of course I cared, I cared too much. I just desperately wanted to be good enough.
But then the time came, to stand on the edge and to jump. To let go. The fear of never knowing overpowered the fear of being inadequate. All the words, all the actions, all the thoughts that had plagued me, that I had allowed in, needed to be released. They were holding me back and my whole being wanted to move forward. So I took the step.
Now I'm not saying I'm a fabulous, finished product, not even close, but the weights have been removed. Nothing is holding me back it is now only me in my way and I'm slowly backing down. In my weekly singing workshops I can slowly feel the confidence creeping back in but now I understand and appreciate the act of humility. This week a casting director told me I was too critical of myself. He allowed me to take off my shoes and be barefoot, he instructed me to sit down, close my eyes and just sing a Capella. For the first time in a long time I felt unjudged and free, doing what I love to do. I didn't care if the notes were wrong, the rhythms, the techniques, I just let it out. If someone didn't like it I didn't care, I was singing for me. It was like the good parts of 17 year old me woke up again just being sat barefoot singing from my soul.
That weekend I was also given some sound advice, I was told not to try to get back to the person I was but to embrace the person I am becoming. I can't go back, too much has changed to not only me but those around me, that going back is impossible. But why would I want to go back when my future is looking so bright and the person I am becoming is finally, actually strong?