to not have a voice

feels liberating 

feels scary and vulnerable

feels like a step forward and also a step back. 

For a while Ive been worried/ scared/ paranoid about talking about the fact that I had an injury. I say had because as of yesterday I am officially on the mend. While doing a show, I had a serious case of allergies and  I got a blister. A polyp on one of my vocal chords. Scary word. But it was just because I sang through some pretty severe allergies. Thats it! I pushed. My voice therapist and ENT said, "Natalie, you wear the same pair of shoes, or pointe shoes, day after day with no blister, then one day its an extra hour of rehearsal and you forgot your toe pads and blister." Didn't do anything wrong. Just happened.  

So- what has this meant? I've been on the bench. For a while now. Unable to say yes to auditions and jobs. Trying to go to auditions and muscle through, only to find that I really cannot do what I do which is embarrassing and annoying and sad. All of a sudden, not only could I not sing, but I couldn't project my speaking voice. And not only could I not commit fully to scene work but then I couldn't giggle! Or laugh! I have had vocal fatigue like never before in my life. It's been........something.

YESTERDAY, I had surgery. In and out. By the time night came around I was having a real meal albeit in silence. And the silence is interesting. Sometimes frustrating, you want to jump in and parttake in the conversation. But its mostly interesting. You sit back more and listen. You write down the things worth sharing. You watch your dad (who came up just to be here for me) and your mom (who really has to get home to do some work and spends the extra hour so that she can make sure I'm okay) and your brother (with the passion of the world in his eyes) and your boyfriend (who's eyes are calm and loving, and who catches the moment i feel a smidge of pain). You watch them. And enjoy them and take them in. And love them for everything they are. 

 my dad and I

my dad and I

Today, I went for my normal walk with the pups. Taking in the world. Went to my coffee shop, thank goodness they know the drill and that I'm a creature of habit. "Medium or Large Latte Natalie!?" I make a hand motion to show the smaller of the two. People are eager to communicate. So even without the voice, people become even more engaged. 

This guy at a sandwich shop yesterday, saw me writing on my notepad to my dad, and came over, grabbed the pen from me and asked me "Hows your food?" by writing it down. I mean, obviously I can hear. But it was wonderful and sweet.  

I'm so excited to get my voice back. I'm going to sing all the time. I'm thinking about a concert next May. I've always wanted to do one and now there's no excuse. It's a new day. But for the weekend, in my silence, I'll just enjoy being present and knowing that all of this has taught me so much and that I'm officially moving forward.