Have you ever faced down a fear? Maybe not a fear, necessarily, but something - well, heck - a fear. Something which won't harm you or eat you alive, literally, but could possibly eat your lunch in a figurative fashion? I did. Last night.
Back story (I know how much y'all love back story): When I was in middle school - I'd have to guess 12 or 13 years old - I was in choir at school. I attended a public school. I loved my choir teacher, Mrs. Toney, who said I had the voice of an angel. I loved everything about the class. All my life I'd wanted to be a singer.
That fall, just a couple of months into the class, our group was set to perform at a big festival our parish held every year, the Orange Festival. I was going to sing a solo. I think I was supposed to sing something patriotic. The local news atation was there, filming the festivities. Really excited, but nervous, I got up to sing. And froze. My throat completely closed up and I couldn't force one word past it. Mrs. Toney stood next to me and whispered all of the lyrics, but I couldn't sing. I wanted to. Really badly. It didn't happen.
The spring semester we changed schools. There was no musical program at my new school, other than band. No place to sing. And really? After the mortifyingly humiliating experience in front of everyone in three towns? I don't think I wanted to sing. And I didn't. Ever.
Until a few years ago, when I sang in a small church, helping out the non-existent worship team. Someone in the congregation recorded a service. I heard myself sing. And vowed never to do that publicly again.
So last night? Hunny and I went out with friends for the express purpose of finding a karaoke bar. To sing. My friend, she has a phenomenal voice. Heather, if you're reading this, your rendition of What's Up was incredible! And Hunny says we should try again by looking for hotels with karaoke.
Anyway, we managed to find a real-live karaoke bar. Bar being the operative word. After a yummy dinner, we drove to the seedy side of town (word has it we passed three gentleman's clubs directly before arriving at the bar), and signed up to sing. I don't know what I was expecting, but this was certainly an experience. The smoke in the room alone was enough to make a grown man cry. My Hunny was strong and brave and didn't cry. And it was everything I'd imagined, based on every movie and TV show I'd ever seen with a bar.
The singing, though, was not what I'd expected, even though I'd been amply warned. It was BAD. And not in a good way. Oh. My. WORD. Bad.
Guess what I sang? Go ahead, guess. And know that I was cowardly enough to take friend Heather up on her offer to sing with me. Lord knows I needed it, with the first song I chose. Bohemian Rhapsody. Yeah. Brutal.
I have no real idea how I did. Couldn't hear a thing. And we didn't stick around too long, since the DJ guy just played song after song after that, with no live performances. Disappointing. But I sang! Kinda.
So I faced a big fear this week. And lived. If I can do it, you can too.
Until I write again ...