Reminiscing yesterday with the roomies about our college lives… And both Mel and I agree that we wish we hadn’t had to go through cough cough FOUR colleges each… (it’s a loooong story), but we are happy where we are and wouldn’t take back all the time and effort it took to get to where we are, because then we wouldn’t be who we are. I’m coming to realize that holding on to things that made me sad, or angry in the past is usually not a good way to go forward in the future. (soooometimes, as an artist, such things can help inspire some really cool art/music/writing, etc…) Well, most of the time really. But it doesn’t serve me to be moping on the past. Not that I mope often. But thinking about all of these college years and how I will be so relieved when I finally get that piece of paper. I just get a little dramatic sometimes.
For instance, my first college, Coastal Carolina University, really messed me up. I was not prepared for what was to come there. I am bitter at the musical theatre program, and I need to let that go. When I went to CCU, all the freshman MT majors had one combined voice lesson (which I still think is stupid) and I was still discovering my mixed voice. (jeez, I still am…) Anyways, being nervous in front of everyone, I made an idiot out of myself on numerous occasions, and looked like I had no business being a voice major. It took years to bring my confidence up again, and for me to believe in myself as a singer. A big thanks goes to Dr. Smith of Geneva for helping me become to dramatic, ridiculous soprano I am today. Come at me, CCU.
Another thing about Coastal that frustrated me is that I was ridiculed for being a Christian and not partaking in certain things. I vividly remember my entire acting class staring at me waiting for me to “act” like I had Tourette syndrome and scream profanities, which I refused to do. I instead screamed random words like Salad! Japan! This, if you were curious, did not make matters any better.
As much as my time at Coastal screwed up my confidence, it made me a better artist. I spent 5 months in a tiny private cell, I mean dorm room, being 12 hours away from home without a car, food, or friends. I was miserable, and I had few people to talk to because all of my friends were off adjusting to their own colleges, and, to my bitter rage, loving every minute of it. I spent a lot of time painting, writing, and furiously learning the piano. I wrote songs, I reinvented myself, (suddenly I was this punk kid with mile long curly hair and too much blue eye-shadow).
The point of this pity-fest is that at our darkest, we have an amazing capacity for growth. I was being molded and shaped in that time, and it wasn’t easy. I had to be broken down in order to be built back up. And I came out at the other end a more creative, confident, patient and rad human.
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.