"I Love My Voice"

I've watched more TV in the last three months than I have in the past three years. And you know what? I'm not even ashamed. There's a fancy remote you can talk to, the ability to record our favorite shows to watch later, and... we can skip commercials. Modern times have taken entertainment to a whole new level, and I like it. I can snuggle my sweetie on the couch on these dark winter evenings, munching popcorn and watching strangers cry with gratitude when they're selected to compete on "The Voice." 

We were watching The Voice yesterday when Mercedes Ferreira-Dias,  a 16-year-old contestant from Miami, Florida, was about to take the stage. Mercedes had just one shot to win the judges' affection. Can you imagine the months of preparation that go into these 60-second performances? 

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Can you imagine the months of preparation that go into these 60-second performances? 

Right before her blind audition, Mercedes was interviewed backstage. She told the camera that she'd struggled with confidence, which made perfect sense to me, given that she's 16. And then she said something that made my heart stop. "But when I'm singing, I feel confident," she said, her eyes welling with tears, "I love my voice."

I love my voice

She said it as a whisper, with a shy smile, like she couldn't help herself. And that's what really got me. This proclamation of self love was so genuine, and so specific. She'd fallen hopelessly in love with part of herself, and it spilled out of her in this vulnerable moment that was, of course, caught on camera.

I'd be the first to tell you that most reality TV is junk, but every now and then they have the camera switched on at just the right time. Once in a while, some glittering gem of humanity is recorded and preserved: A precious moment for us to savor. 

I was savoring it, all right. I was crying along with Mercedes, actually, from my comfy seat in the living room. Because it really gets to me, sometimes, how hard it is to love yourself... when it's actually so easy. 

I'll admit: it's been a rough week. Depression has been doing it's goofy sneak-attack on my mind, running up from behind and dumping a cold bucket of doubt over my head at odd moments. I'll be in the middle of doing the dishes, and suddenly the life will just go out of my limbs. I'm left standing there beside the sink, with big crocodile tears sliding down my face as I stare at the pile of dishes, which is suddenly insurmountable. Everything is too much work, when depression gets me. Everything is hard, and grey, and lonely. 

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Somewhere between haranguing myself for feeling depressed and berating myself that I hadn't found a job... I forgot that there are some parts of myself that I love, hopelessly.

But you know what? I love my voice. And I'd forgotten that, somewhere between haranguing myself for giving in to depression and berating myself that I haven't landed a job yet. I'd forgotten that there are some parts of myself that I love, hopelessly. You can't get me to stop, not even when I've just been doused in icy, defeating doubt. And one of those things that I love, unconditionally, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is my writing. My voice. 

And part of that love is to share it. Just like Mercedes strutting her 16-year-old ass up onstage in front of millions of viewers and four discerning voice judges, we're meant to share our passions with others. Like this quote that bounces around the internet:

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."

Give it away. Love your voice, and share it. 

Thanks, Mercedes, for the reminder. :)