This photo is from a concert in 2019. After this concert (wonderful music, musician, and occasion. Wonderful!), I thought: that’s it, I’m not doing this anymore. I’ll finish my Ph.D; after that, I’m not going to sing professionally anymore.

For years, singing – my passion, life, and voice – had become increasingly harder, and I couldn’t understand why. When I was practicing, I often had to stop to call my husband, crying: I cannot sing anymore, I do not recognize my voice anymore; it is just so hard. I went to doctors, speech ther apists, and different teachers to GET HELP! However, since I got misdiagnosed by the ENTs, no one really knew how to treat me.

It was probably just stress.

Just my age.

Just in my head.

If I could just relax…

With the help of a global pandemic, I won some extra time. I could rest and restore, but still my voice got worse, and in November 2021, it broke completely. I stood on stage, singing with a voice completely shattered, begging the audience (and my colleagues) to please (please!) forgive me for being as far from perfect a soprano can be. I was standing there with my broken heart in my hands, singing for my life… Again thinking that THIS is the last time I sing in front of an audience.

Like a detective, I’ve been sneaking around my own history. What I observe depends on the day for my current Self: If I feel strong, I can objectively observe previous situations that may not have been so favourable for the voice: too many colds and infections and too much pollen; too much singing and teaching under aforementioned conditions; being a (more or less) single mother; unpredictable future with associated anxiety; constant questioning of competence and stress, etc. etc. Or, as we call it: Life.

When I’m not strong, then I see an utterly incompetent person who, against her better judgment, carves her way by cheating and deceiving. And then it goes as it goes! I’m taking personal responsibility and, at the same time, placing myself in a larger context because we are not small islands; we are our own infinite universes that throw and receive comets and are enveloped by dust clouds from the inner universes of our fellow human beings.

My detective work has taken me around the whole body, and large parts of my brain, both the conscious and the unconscious. Some things are obvious, while others are more obscure. Everyone grabs hold of each other, gives, and takes, affects, and influences. Everything is connected.

And then doubt comes over me. Dare I share this? Should I? How ”smart” is it, like in terms of ”branding”? Probably not at all. But I am driven by something bigger (not only to avoid sinking into the harsh but oh-so-comfortable, bitterness):

to use my voice and make others feel less lonely.

And I did get better! Great even!

It just took a little while.


To learn more about this journey, go to the Instagram account Singing without my voice or go back to main page and read the posts there (updating the posts daily).