“Who am I?” This one question haunted me on many occasions, causing my anxiety to surface, slightly touching my senses. ‘Who am I?’ I repeated out loud waiting for the thundering silence to give me an answer. Nothing. Frustrated I moan out loud. How can I not know who I am? Staring out of my window in a daze, a memory comes to mind. Lights whizzing by, the sweet smell of chocolate transfused with the smell of petrol, buzzing guitar strings, pulsating drum beats. Time stands still as a crystal clear image of my dad rehearsing ‘Gloria’ by Van Morrison forms in my mind. Harmonised voices, synchronised instruments complement each others melody, a common energetic passion intertwine between each musician and their instrument. My body purrs as I sit there, captivated by the different musical sounds, enthralled by the devotion that my father so clearly displayed in his performance. As I am pulled out of my memory, I smile to myself, this is where it all began for me, where music spoke to me on some deep intimate level, where an appreciation for all genres of music inaugurated.
All these memories and still the biggest question lingers at the back of my mind. ‘Who am I?’. My fingers tap dance their way across the computer keyboard as I type out a question on Facebook.
“Ok this ones for you. Describe me in three words…Ok Go!” Various individuals leave an answer to my budding question. Tall, strong, committed, talented, beautiful, charismatic, loyal, driven, inspirational. As my page fills up with listed qualities I realise that only I can answer this question.
I think back to earlier years, where I was, what my time was dedicated to and a slide show forms in my mind. Image after image flips through my brain as if I am in a time capsule visiting each of the eras. I remember hiding shyly behind my mum as she takes me to my first dance class, my competitive edge kicking in working my way towards dancing up the front, the glittering costumes we had to wear, the countless hours of rehearsals, the different dance styles. I remember my first singing lesson, my natural ability to hold a tune, the different techniques used and the beginning of what I have come to know as my instrument and master strength.
I ignite the teenager in me and I remember the boys, the friends, the heartbreak, the hurt and pain that all teenagers go through, the uncertainty and insecurities, the obsession with how I looked and what I wore and I think back to how I dealt with all these feelings and it comes to me. I wrote about them, and my deep rooted passion for songwriting began then. It was then and is now the most honest part of me, where I lay everything out on the line, I wear my heart on a sleeve and I tell a story, leaving myself vulnerable for all to see.
I fast forward a few years, angry, bitter, unhappy, scared, insecure. This old version of me, stored away in a box in the far end of my mind. I know she will never resurface again, but she stays there, reminding me that only I can find my own salvation, that only I am to blame for any short comings in my own endeavours, that only I can face my fears no matter how afraid of them I am. She pushed me to the brink of madness. I remember a peaceful feeling as the weight of the world lifted of my shoulders and I found the true me, that would go out and study her passion, that fell back in love with music and the people around her and she kept falling more in love everyday and her journey began as a singer, songwriter and entertainer.
So now I ask this question again. ‘Who am I?’ and I answer with more confidence. I am a songwriter, I am a professional vocalist, I am an entertainer, I am a dancer, I am a choreographer, I am a teacher, but most of all I am myself and know body else. I don’t have an alter ego, I don't have a character that I play, but what I do have is a certain truth and honesty to myself and my listeners. I feel what everyone else feels. I feel love, fear, hurt, pain and I have gone through struggles that many others have gone through and I tell the story through my songs connecting myself emotionally to my listeners. This is who I am.