By Beverly Grafton
In another life, I wouldn't have noticed the thunderstorm in the morning. I would've slept right through it like a baby. In another life, I'd be sprawled in my bed, pondering my life decisions on what to eat for the day, what to wear for the night and what songs to be included in my set list so I would have more time to set up at my gig. In another life, I would've taken my daughter out for hotpot on such a day as this, since rainy weather is the best weather for anything soupy. In another life, I'd still be living in the apartment that I rented, with money I made, from a job I enjoyed.
But this is not that life. Not anymore. It's a different life, a difficult one even, from the beginning of the virus hitting our shores to this day and counting. Even though most of the economy has resumed operations, it's still a very different life nonetheless.
I no longer know what to put for my job designation since I've been forced to sit back and wait for my gigs to be reinstated. I stopped applying for jobs I know I'm never going to get because I'm either inexperienced or overqualified - or both. I would've been way in over my head even if I had gotten anything anyway. Besides, I'm an artiste. Who am I, if not the lead vocalist to my bands? Who am I, if not a singer?
But now, with my whole life on a 180 flip, just who the hell am I now? Well, while storms rage on through the day, it's time for a little reflection.
Ok, for what it's worth, I am still a singer. Always was, always will be although I may not feel like one anymore ever since the thrill of looking forward to my regular gigs ceased to exist. Not because I lost my love for performing, heck no but because there's no performances to look forward to. I had a routine and all. I was comfortable. But I also know what happens when one becomes too comfortable - one becomes complacent.
I wanted a change deep down inside. For the longest time I questioned, is this it? Smokey outdoor venues, singing other people's songs, dusty equipment, badly circulated air and broken glass on my stage. Was that it? I came to terms with that being my lot in life if it meant I could earn and save up for when I move to be with my hubby for good in the US. But any creative will tell you that the existential question never goes away. And so when Covid-19 happened, I welcomed it. But I was not prepared for it at all.
I went through the first two months emotionally strong and hopeful but by the time June hit, I started to get restless and panicky. Self-doubt crept in, I could feel myself falling through the rabbit hole back into depression and it scared me. I got out the last time by a hair's breadth. On top of that, money was running out, bills were pilling up and I was getting restless. I was desperate and my Facebook posts expressed as much. I am a proud woman. Proud of my artistry, proud of my voice, my heritage, my history, my accomplishments. But what was I going to be proud of now?
Find out next Saturday, when I continue my musical musing and tune in tomorrow for next week's playlist.