Enough With the Chain Smoking

  My mother often tells me that she regrets ever teaching me how to talk because once I started, I NEVER stopped.  I am almost certain that every year on her birthday she blows out her candles wishing for me to be silent for just a little while. And this week her wishes came true at last.

  I fully admit that I am the most talkative person I have ever met.  I can talk non-stop on a two hour drive going from my house to Toronto without taking a break longer than what is necessary to catch my breath (and I am a vocalist, so I have pretty good breath control). I am a talker.  A chatterbox.  I love to converse!  It’s how I learn best, it’s how I connect with people.  And if I’m not busy chatting someone up, or shoving food in my mouth or sleeping, there is a 99% chance I’m singing.  I am in choir, a musical and most importantly I am an avid shower singer!  My lips are constantly flapping and I honestly don’t know how to stop it!

  But last Sunday evening at rehearsal I felt a tickle, no. A scratch in the back of my throat.  And then it happened- a voice crack.  From this point on I felt a tingling in the depth of my soul notifying me of what was yet to come.  When I woke up the next morning my voice had a sandpapery quality to it. And by second period Wednesday she was gone.   My pride, my joy, the  voice I avoid listening to on recordings- MY VOICE WAS GONE! I stuck it out the rest of the day though it was suggested by teachers and friends that I go home and (as I’m sure they always would like me to do) stop talking. 

   Due to the fact that my voice sounded like I had been a chain smoker for 27 years that spends every night jamming out to heavy metal followed by crying himself to sleep I took Thursday and Friday off.  I Ashley, took a 48 hour vocal rest.  It was quiet, peaceful- too peaceful.  I was on solitary confinement.

   I hated it. I’m sure that hell is a lot like being on vocal rest.  But this opened my eyes to how lucky I am to talk and to listen. It also made me think how lucky I am to have freedom of speech (when I have the ability to talk).

   Many cups of tea, bowls of soup and lozenges later SHE’S BACK!

     It is so true that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.


I’d like to share some quotes of what people had to say about my voice:

  • “This is an intervention.  YOU NEED TO GO HOME! We say this because we love you… well, we don’t love you.  But that’s what you’re suppose to say during an intervention.”
  • “That’s an awfully feminine movie for someone with such a manly voice to be watching.”
  • “Be quiet. Quieter. Don’t talk.”
  •  “It’s not so bad when you’re quiet…. actually… just be quiet.”
  • “Enough with the chain smoking.”
  • “We’ll let you stay for the rest of the day if you don’t come back tomorrow.”

That’ pretty much all I’ve got for you folks. Until next time, remember to appreciate what you have before you loose it.



2 thoughts on “Enough With the Chain Smoking

  1. Ashley you are such a talented writer! You put words together and they just fit. I miss you so darn much and I hope you will have the best days in Nashville 🙂

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