I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a singer. Music was my friend, my mentor, my inspiration and still is today. Back in the day, you did not have music videos or YouTube. You only had records and you imagined what the singers were like from the album cover and liner notes. Then came videos and everything changed. Now you could see the singers you listened to.
Videos are not as important today as they once were, musically speaking, but they still have their place. Once in a while I get in a mood and I just go to YouTube and watch either videos or live performances of older music. I happened to do that last night after hearing “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus playing overhead at the local Sheetz. I decided to watch Chaka Chan, Whitney Houston and Etta James videos. Oh to be able to sing like that, I would give anything, alas that is definitely not my talent. I cannot hold a note, am tone-deaf and I cannot even read music. I am relegated to being a lover of music, not a participant.
Then I got to thinking about why I was not blessed with that particular talent and these reasons came to mind:
- Ego: If I could sing like young Whitney Houston, my head would be so swelled that no one else could fit in the room I was in. I would be like “Bitch, do you know who I am? I am Lois F*ing Hewitt and I sing!” I would be that way at parties, at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the gas station…everywhere. God knew I could never contain myself if I had talent like that, so He made sure I had no talent for that whatsoever.
- Facade: Watching an older video of a VH1 Diva presentation with Whitney and a few others, I realized that the secondary job of a singer is to never show the real you on stage. I watched as Whitney Houston sang her heart out, smiled and danced all the time knowing, because I knew the future, she was having a miserable time in her personal life. I can only imagine how hard it must be to have so much negativity in your personal life but be the ultimate performer on stage. People did not pay to see her sulk around on stage, they expected to see her vibrancy and energy. That had to be exhausting. What a horrible price to pay for fame!
- Money: Although I would like a little more money than I have right now, having too much does not seem to be healthy either. There are some people with money who seem to be able to control it, but I have to assume (since it has never been a problem for me) that having too much money can create unhealthy lifestyles. I know if I sold millions of records and had lots of money from it, I would be so obsessive. There would be no living with me.
My night watching YouTube was extremely enlightening. Just because I would have wanted a specific gift and spent years cursing the fact that it was not my gift to have, does not mean it would have been good for me. Sometimes those things we want more than anything are the very things that could ruin us. My mind goes to Amy Winehouse, Elvis and so many countless others who were given a specific talent but it was that talent that helped to destroy them either directly or indirectly.
So for today, I will ponder the things I want in life,the things I wish for, the dreams I have and look at them with open eyes. Maybe the things I feel I have to have may not be good for me. Or maybe they will come at a later time when I am ready for them. I do not know what the future will bring, except I highly doubt my singing voice will ever develop, but whatever comes my way I have to look at it as my blessing and do all that I can to have it make me a better person, not a bitter person.