On Wednesday, the last day I blogged, I expressed that I was not thankful. I was not feeling thankful. As I attempted to locate the home address of those feelings, I ended up in a neighborhood surrounded by bitterness, jealousy, envy, and quite possibly anger. Not exactly a cul-de-sac of happiness… but I was glad I had located it. Because I have had this bah-hum-bug-itis for several years when the holidays roll around, beginning with Thanksgiving.
It doesn’t help that my birthday being a few weeks prior always leads to reflection on my life and year and where I am and how unsuccessful I am and all the things that didn’t turn out the way I’d hope in that year.
Relationships, career, enjoying life and flourishing.
Instead, feeling two steps backwards. Goals always out of reach.
Thanksgiving has never been a big deal to me…I always chalk it up to the fact that I spent many years overseas…the primary thing it means in our house is the day dad cranks up Mannheim Steamroller and we pull out the Christmas decorations. That’s it. In recent years, I’ve taken on several side dishes as my part, but it still feels empty to me…it’s just food that everyone makes on the same day…still don’t get it.
So when people ask me about it..part of me is confused about how it’s such a big deal to everyone…seriously.
So as I honed in my satellite on that ugly neighborhood in my heart…I noticed that since I graduated, since that phase of my life was over…there was less music in this season.
Cue the going-back-in-time music…..
The fall semester of my Senior year I held my Senior Voice Recital, in November. I was so excited because it was not required of my major as a Church Music emphasis, but the chair of the voice department told me she would like me to have a Senior recital. So my voice teacher and I worked on it beginning in my Junior year, coming up with material to start working on. At some point I decided that the majority of my music would be Christmas music, and the November 16 date was perfect. I learned O Holy Night in French, a beautiful German Mary’s Lullaby, a Latin duet by Vivaldi with voice and Oboe, an aria from Handel’s Messiah How Beautiful Are the Feet, and a Ralph Vaughn Williams English lullaby. I have the whole thing on VHS…if you like arias and lullabies, lol. (pictures below…and no, I don’t know what’s wrong with my face…I look horrible in all of the blue dress pics, but in my defense, someone else did my hair and makeup…from Fall 2004)
During that same month, I organized, planned, and rehearsed a worship team I had put together the month before as part of my internship, at my parent’s small church.
The first week of December was our Christmas concert for UCO, Friday and Sunday. I had been learning Christmas music since September.
To go from big fish in a small pond having participating in numerous music specials, groups, duets, and solos throughout my entire life and then this concentrated amount of Christmas performances in College, and ending up in a big church as a small fish..where we don’t do much with all the talent we have for Christmas is very discouraging, honestly. And I just don’t know what to do with myself. I am participating in Imago Dei, and that’s great, but it’s just the start. I’m not saying I want to be the diva all star whatever. I’m just saying, I’m having a hard time with this season when I have nowhere to contribute. I don’t know where I fit. Where I belong. I don’t feel like I’m using the gifts…when I’m not using the gifts.
I know choirs are old school and blah blah blah. But I truly believe we could make something really beautiful and non-cheesy in a setting even like our church. For as large a size a church as we are, I truly believe we are doing a disservice by not doing something with all the talented voices in our church who may not all necessarily be soloists, but can sing, and put in the right environment, or in the right group, with the right direction, could be something truly beautiful and glorifying to God.
So I guess you can say I’m a Christmas music addict and I’m going through serious withdrawals. But I did enjoy the remembering. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do to work through this “neighborhood”.