Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 Realisations that have changed the way I think about myself

1. I am one of those people that has a mole on the side of their face. I didn't realise until I was about 20, because I had never looked at the side of my face until then I guess. It's right where you have to put a lot of effort in to see it in the mirror (never had a handheld). So I spent all my most judgmental years not knowing I was one of those people only to form an opinion and then find out I am one of those people. I have a mole on the side of my face. Just maybe I could call it a beauty spot. Maybe.

2. I'm just a bit chubby. Now before anyone in a larger size than me rolls their eyes, listen for a minute (because my BMI agrees with me). I used to think I was a slim thing (size 8-10 NZ) carrying a bit of extra weight that I'm just waiting to lose. And then I realised that I've been carrying that extra weight (in the form of 2-3 dress sizes) for so long that there are people who have never seen the slim Mariah that I know is hiding inside of me somewhere. To them I'm just a bit "soft and squishy" (a woman actually said that about me today. She said "When I was between having children I was like you, soft and squishy").

3. I am an average singer (originally I wrote "average-good" but I think it's time I accepted it). This one has taken me a long time to come to terms with.
At high school I did a lot of singing: I sang in 3 different rock/pop bands with my friends; I sang for the schools "Jazz Band"; I was in the choir; by 7th form I was running the choir; I was part of a mixed barbershop group; by 7th form I ran a boys quartet; I took singing lessons; I sang in all the music departments traveling and home concerts; I have "studio" recorded about 6-9 of my original songs (my voice); I entered NZ Idol.
I kept telling myself: "I didn't win the vocals award because there was a better singer than me in the Rockquest"; "I didn't get a solo in the choir because Trish is way better at that sort of thing"; "It wasn't me that made the Barbershop group drop 2 keys by the end of the song. It was Keith. Or maybe Chris"; "I have a deep voice"; "I only sing duets in concert because I take singing lessons with my best friend so we can only ever prepare together."; "One day I'll be a singer"; "I should've chosen a better known song. How could the judges put me through if they didn't even know if I sang that song in tune?"
Since high school I have really fallen out of practise. I went from all that practising and using my "beautiful asset" to singing in the congregation at church, when I'm not out nursing a baby in the mothers room. Way out. Needless to say I am not as polished as I was at high school.
I came to terms with this when we watched this last season of American Idol. You know the one that Kris Allen won? I was watching all these singers, imagining that I should be up there doing that but I just can't in my current life situation, and then I realised that I actually can't sing like that. I can't do those trills and riffs. I can't belt out anything higher than a B (if I'm lucky). I can't even vibrato. Those singers are better than me.

Now it's not all bad....

4. Understanding how it is to love my children makes me appreciate my parents more and understand why they did the things they did. I actually can't believe they gave me such a long leash really, when I get worried about the thought of my kids walking to school by themselves someday in the far distant future. We live about 20 seconds walking distance away from the nearest primary school and it still terrifies me.

5. There are times and seasons for everything, and I have a work to do. Some others may not think that a mother needs to stay home to look after her children, and that it might be better if I went out in the work force. Lower unemployment rates by paying someone else to look after them. Make things a bit more comfortable for the family. But I know that this is my work to do. And when I remember that staying at home with my children is my "work" it helps me put a lot more effort in to engaging with them rather than just supervising. And I can hold my head up high with any of the working class (maybe a little higher because I'm a bit proud I'd say) because what I do is meaningful, important and will have far-reaching effects. I sometimes think it would be amazing to wake up every morning and get paid to go and do something that I love (like singing for example). Then I realised that I do, just by waking up.

But props to any working mums out there, because it must be so hard. I think I'd move back in with my parents and become co-dependent because I can't imagine working and motherhood having enough room for each other in my life.


  1. I love this post! You are witty. And wise. And not very squishy.

  2. Nicole - you sneaky deletey! But in response, you were around in my singing voice's hey day, you heard me in high school at my best. Thank you for the compliment(s).

    Erika - guess who said that to me? Leah.