Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Making Choices: Turmoil or Tranquility? (2)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continued from Page: 1)

I am a person who loves challenges, who loves learning new things and who is also quite stubborn when I want something. Often when I try to get into a meaningful idea that I think is valuable and helpful to me, I have been faced with opposition, people who discourage me from my intent, whether it be family, friends or acquaintances. I met my greatest resistance when I decided to follow my dream as a songwriter and performer while approaching middle age. It was not a hasty decision based on a mid-life crisis, but one that laid dormant for a long time. I loved performing and simply waited for the right opportunity to bring this desire back into focus.

The years had passed quickly since my dream had been laid to rest. Once my oldest child was out the door with the youngest soon to follow, life was beginning to slow down for me. Grateful for the break, I finally began to focus on myself. Contemplating my reflection in the mirror, I felt relieved that there weren't any premature grey hairs present. My face had become quite chubby by then, as I detected a slight double chin that was beginning to show and my waistline had expanded. What a frightening and sad moment it was for me! I was now pleasantly plump and entering middle age. Restless and frustrated, I suddenly found myself at a crossroads in my life. It was time to make a choice. The childhood desire to perform, which was waylaid by life throughout the years in my sub-consciousness, began to surface in my conscious mind.

In order to understand the decision that I had made, I needed to self-reflect, which was a crucial part of the practice of not only self-analyzing, but also of understanding the choices and risks involved when making that decision. I asked myself two questions: "What did I want, and where was I going?" I quickly grabbed a notebook and made two columns. In one column I listed the strengths of my personality and the things which I excelled at. In the second column I listed all of my weaknesses that would stand between me and the extraordinary achievement I wished to succeed at. After comparing both sides, I made my choice and took the plunge with an unshakeable confidence that I would eventually succeed, despite all outward setbacks and obstacles. This is what it is all about, making sound choices when pursuing whatever you want amidst easy or difficult circumstances.

As for the word difficult, Mama was not one of my groupie fans, and since she was such a negative person by nature, she tried to discourage me in every which way possible. She told me that I was crazy and that I was going through a mid-life crisis. Musical careers were for the younger generation, not for a woman of my age, and especially a person with my body. Mama said that I would look utterly ridiculous, and what did I know about being a performer when I didn't have any talent or experience. She added that if I really wanted to perform, then I should have stayed with the church choir, giving my talents to the "work of the Lord." God bless my Mama, she was so old-fashioned, I know that she meant well.

My brother Michael laughed at me for wanting to be a performer, but I refused to budge, not giving in to him or anybody else's opinion. I realized right then and there that if my determination was not strong enough to follow my dream, I would fail and regret it immensely.

My life as a songwriter and performer was launched with my one woman show, Love and Things, which was a vaudeville revue and supper-club show rolled into one. Each choice that I kept making sub-consciously in the field of music became a conscious step toward reaching that goal. Although there were some years that were more successful than others, as an ASCAP member, I was beginning to feel a lot more confident about my progress and my prospects in the entertainment field, until regretfully, an accident brought closure to this stage of my life. Though it didn't seem significant at first, it did have a decisive impact on putting an end to my career as a performer. The final decision created a lot of emotional turmoil.

To be continued: (3)

To contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net

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