When you give your voice

This Christmas season I have decided to do something a bit different and out of the ordinary. I haven’t really had many Christmas plans over the last few years. I’ve been living abroad for the better part of the last 6 years, and that can often times be a very lonely feeling.

I haven’t been so successful with my social life since moving to Sweden, and as the days counted down closer to the Christmas holiday, I was left wondering what I should do. Faced with the options of being home alone, I decided that it wasn’t a good idea for me. And so I decided to give.

The only thing, apart from my usual donations during the holiday season, that I could think to donate is my time and my voice. Thus I committed to volunteering to sing for my choir’s Christmas events. This involved an afternoon mass, a midnight mass, and then Christmas Day mass. It was a lot of a singing, and a lot of time. I even had to stay in a hotel from the 24th to the 25th since trains didn’t run with enough time for me to go back and forth to home.

I guess it’s good to provide to others and help others enjoy or celebrate an important event, but I couldn’t help feeling very selfish and lonely during the time. I basically didn’t interact with anyone, did my singing, and then went back to my hotel after a bit of a long walk.

I felt like it was important for me to give, because otherwise I would be doing nothing. But I was faced with a strange situation: first of all I’m not really all that religious and the amount of times I sing in a choir in the last year greatly outweighs the amounts of times that I’ve actually been to a church in my entire life. But what is so striking is when the head priest at the cathedral where I sing, said to me “Weren’t you here all day yesterday too?” and my response was “Yes” she looked at me with a bit of a perplexed look on her face, as if to suggest that I should be somewhere else.

I’m not sure if it was thanks, confusion, or pity but it was certainly something and it made me think. In any event, I’m happy that I did something and being a stranger among strangers is a very strange experience. But thank you to Västerås Domkyrka for allowing me to be apart of its community and to donate my time towards a greater cause.

In summary, it certainly is a theme to my life of late; but the question remains “Where should I be?”

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