Thursday, January 30, 2014

Letting Go

Every person who spends over a decade perfecting an art has a dream. Whether or not they want to admit it, every painter, every writer, every singer, every dancer and every actor would love to spend all day at their craft and be handsomely rewarded for it. If you have ever watched a talent show, such as The Voice, America's Got Talent or American Idol, you have seen the amount of talent in the world that is unrewarded. Only a select few can really put food on their table solely through the money earned through their art. This is a reality we all know at the core of our hearts, but few of us want to admit.

During the past 6 years that I've been singing professionally after having not sung at all for 7 years, I've been through a lot of transformations. There was a time when I didn't think I was worthy of getting paid for singing and that I should give it up and never open my mouth again. I started to get hired for things...little things and actual good things with great ensembles and big names. I got good reviews. Over the past 16 months, I've felt really great about the work I've done vocally. I am a professional singer and I can say with confidence, that I'm not bad. I'm actually quite good and I'm proud at what I've accomplished.

That being said, I'm all over the place. I have spread myself so thin with all of my hobbies and pursuits that I have not been able to put 100% of my effort into any one thing. I'm teaching here, I'm singing there, I'm organizing here, I'm selling there. Aside from work, there are all of those other things in life like eating, being a friend, love, living and basically trying to enjoy your life. Some people are content to be a Starving Artist. I have decided about three weeks ago, that I am not one of those people.

I want to be able to buy frivolous items, go on vacations and go out to fancy dinners more than I want to excel at my art...and that's okay.

At one point in my life, I may have looked at this crossroads as one path being failure and the other path being a valiant artist, but I really don't think that it is either of those things. There is no failure in wanting to live a certain lifestyle and making sacrifices to get there, as much as there isn't necessarily valor in eating ramen noodles every night and working 6 different jobs so that you can go on thousands of auditions. They are simply paths to be taken. There is neither shame or valor in either one.

Over the last few weeks, I have been struggling with the realization that I cannot "Live The Dream" anymore. I have been grieving as though someone close to me had passed away. I am spending a lot of time struggling financially, going to job to job and losing track of my schedule. I lead an interesting and fascinating life and it is so satisfying and amazing when someone hands me a check for singing. It's actually unbelievable to me. But it is no longer enough for me. Giving up music as a "career" is not a failure when you haven't actually failed. The failure would have been all of those years spent at my office job, passing the time, wondering if I had any talent at all. That would have been the ultimate failure.

Letting go has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. And letting go doesn't mean abandoning my art. In fact, I am more in love with music than ever. I've done great work. I am still a very hire-able soprano. I still am working to perfect my technique. I will still audition. But it is not going to be my primary career, and I'm okay with that. Letting go has made it possible for me to sing more freely. I am not critical of every single sound that leaves my throat, I'm grateful I'm able to produce it. I still have gigs to do and recitals to program, but not depending on these things for my income is freeing. To have music in my life be the sweet dessert instead of being the entree makes singing all the more delicious.

My life has been such an adventure. Here's where one chapter ends, but let's turn the page. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Monday, January 13, 2014

Beginning. My Bedroom Closet.

A lot has happened since I last posted to my blog. I'm not ashamed to say that some of things have been sad, but most of the things have been exciting! In the last 16 months, my entire life has changed. I moved to an apartment with 4 other roommates only to have to move again two months later! I started my own business and I have been singing a lot more! Needless to say, I have missed The Stylish Soprano and have decided to come back to my sweet little blog.

My business, Hub Neat Organizing is all about getting your space organized and clutter-free. I have had the luxury of living in a gorgeous 1100 sq foot condo for the last 5 years. It was so spacious and I had a place to put all of my things. My new apartment is 429 square about downsizing! I had to sell a lot of furniture and get rid of many, many things. Moving is great for that. It forces you to pick up an item and say; "I don't even know why I have this!".

When I was first apartment hunting, I just wanted the place to be cute and pet-friendly and relatively safe. I actually took the first apartment I looked at because I had such a good feeling about it. Being that this was a fashion blog, you could guess that I have a LOT of clothes. I had a very large closet at my last place and this place had NO closet in the bedroom at all. The 105 square foot bedroom was a nice enough size for my bed and it had four very bright windows. Unfortunately, there is a light that shines into my bedroom windows and I had to purchase blackout curtains for every window in order to darken the room enough so that I could sleep. I already owned some Freestanding Elfa pieces that had previously been an entertainment center in my previous apartment. I just bought some additional pieces and rods and made a closet! Here is how it turned out!

Skirts and DressesInside the drawers
Look at all those Anthropologie gems! I obviously do not have enough space to hang my dresses, but it was the best I could do. Who needs an actual closet when you have Elfa!? I am truly living in my own walk-in closet. Obviously, because I'm looking at it 24/7 it needs to be kept neat and orderly at all times. If I am living in a closet, it should look like the catalog shots from the Container Store Website. (Elfa is actually on sale right now if you're inspired to transform your space too!) I know this look is a little too open for some people, but I like to see my stuff. It isn't my total dream closet, but it's a pretty good substitute!

What are your closets like? Do you have your dream closet or do you hate your closet? Is it big or small? Is it messy or is it neat?