From Bullied to Broadway Baby
First day of school today for my girls and every year my heart palpitates with worry as I drop them off and hope they have a good year. A caring and patient teacher. An inspiring classroom. Kind peers. At their age, I loved school because I had a voracious appetite for learning absolutely anything. But I was also terrified of school because I was bullied. Many times. In fact, I still am. We've been subjected to harassment in town since our lawsuit regarding our build. There are people who very clearly want to run us out of town. Unfortunately for them, we're remarkably stubborn. And the years of bullying have built us both thick skins.
In fact, 25 years ago, I may not have been subjected to threats or been on the receiving end of racist remarks, but I was bullied for my love of musicals. One would think I would've been teased about my reading, but I wasn't. Musicals were the subject of mockery: it seems crazy, but I was laughed at for listening to them. Scorned. Taunted. Called names like "theatre geek, buffoon, freak, wallflower" – the list goes on. Then I got chased with scissors. My hair was cut off. I was locked in the school bathroom and missed my bus home. I was terrified and embarrassed. To the point where I hid my love of singing or musicals altogether. And that love ran deep. Instead, I spent my youth performing entire musicals on my own in our basement. It was only in high school when a teacher overheard me and had me join the choir that I finally embraced my love of music publicly.
Then I performed in school musicals, sang in the choir, joined a semi-professional show choir during University – just made sure music was part of my every day life. Rithesh and I quickly connected over our love of music and we play it daily in our household. If you walk by at 6am, you'll hear it. If you come to our clinic, you'll hear it. There's always music playing and we're often singing along. Rithesh has his grade 10 conservatory in piano, which the girls are already working their way towards. Nahlyn likes to scream with us when we sing, haha, and at an early age shows excellent rhythm. I cannot dance to save my life, but we still enjoy regular dance parties in our house and love to karaoke. I can't imagine my life without music.
I've had 2 outstanding gifts from my husband since we met: the trip to Minneapolis to see and meet Brandi Carlile, and the professional recording session I mentioned in a previous blog. He purchased a few sessions at a studio in Rosebud for me to record songs for the kids to listen to when I'm away. And boy do they listen to them. Every night. On repeat. I'm no professional, but Paul in Rosebud is a genius and he's made me a remarkable album (for personal use only).
I've included a song here, however, that was so much harder to sing than either of us expected: Everything Changes from the musical Waitress. The off beats, the high notes, the rhythm shifts and key changes….yikes! So proud of the final product. It's a song I love because it encompasses the difficulty of life as a mother - how everything changes and how all your mistakes and hardships in life are worth every minute as they build your strength and perseverance to perform the toughest role of your life as a Mom.
I wanted to share this because I'm just about 3 months away from completing my residency and starting officially at Riverside Medical. I know we've been receiving calls and questions about when I'm starting, what I'm like, etc. I think the most important facts about me are openly available on our blog: I'm a mother, a reader, a singer, and an over-educated empathetic doctor that tries to never judge because, well, I've been there my friends. Life is hard and together we can face health challenges with some little smarts and many big hearts.