Last year I wrote a wrap-up of the year in blogging and singing, and this year it seems fitting to write a decade wrap-up since my entire career has basically been encapsulated in the decade to which we are now bidding auf wiedersehn.
2001 was the first year I actually started making my living as a singer, and thanks be to god, it has kept me afloat all the years since then. I started out knowing exactly what I wanted from my life and from my career, and through a series of twists and turns, I ended up taking an entirely different path than I would have imagined, and am just now reaching the point I always pictured in those early days. While I have always managed to make my living from singing and haven't had any other serious jobs in the last decade, 2010 will be the first year that I am really really really busy. All those years singing at City Opera (8 seasons and over 80 performances) and having a few months off here, a few months off there, meant I got to be at home for more months than I was away usually. It never really occurred to me to be grateful for all the time spent in my own bed until I realized I was facing a year where I could potentially spend less than 45 days in that soft cushy perfectly proportioned dreamland. And I'm not complaining about being away - on the contrary - I'm thrilled to finally be one of those singers who is "always on the road." But I will miss all the little luxuries that go along with having a somewhat normal life.
I will miss all those years where one best friend was my roommate and the other one lived just four blocks away, and we had the luxury of arguing over which restaurant we would all be going to together that night, knowing that next week there would be yet another night just like this one. I will miss noticing every time a new restaurant or store opens in my neighborhood the day the sign goes up that says, "coming soon," and deciding whether it will be my new favorite place (macaroni and cheese specialist) or an object of my scorn and fury (yet another bank or pharmacy). I will miss being able to take a voice lesson with my teacher or learn a role with my coach whenever the fancy strikes me. I will miss being a regular at the corner diner and being able to visit my parents at a moment's notice. I will miss impromptu dinner parties in the building next door and big birthday parties for me with all my friends around me.
But I'm ready. I'm ready to change the way I live, and to stay in touch on skype, and to never put my suitcases back in the closets. I'm ready to constantly be putting my lip gloss and hair gel in a clear plastic bag, and even to give up my stupid blanket and cross my legs for the last hour of my flights. I'm ready to be constantly reminded of how far I have to go before I become really comfortable in any one of these languages that I continue to study, and to have a lot of trouble finding peanut butter in the grocery store. I'm ready for way too many holidays on which all the stores are closed, and not understanding the street signs. I'm ready for new conductors, new directors, new colleagues, and new roles. I'm ready to sing into microphones for posterity and to have my feelings hurt by reviews in languages I don't completely understand. I totally accept that this year - this decade - my life is going to change.
Bring in on 10's. It's time.