Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm a Yamaha

Pin It (I’ll just warn you - this isn't a funny post. I'm gonna be a little serious for a minute, because I feel like spewing this out into the universe – I’m not sure why. Why do we feel compelled to share any of the things we write about on our blogs? I doubt very many of you will make it to the end of this incredibly long, self-indulgent post, but I felt like sharing it anyway. So here you go...)

I was a miserable teenager. I really was. I think I went a little crazy from 15 to 19. I remember that time as sort of a fevered nightmare, murky and dark and awful. I wasn’t acting out in the way that you would expect a troubled teenager to do, I was just incredibly lonely. Lonely and angry and sad. I was awkward and emotionally immature, poor with really bad clothes, and lacking the personality or attitude to make all of that something you could overlook. I existed in a haze of gut wrenching self hatred and distress.

I know we all tend to write off our teenage angst as just that, but I honestly know what it means to despair, because of that time in my life. I've never been depressed as an adult, probably because nothing I've gone through as an adult has ever made me feel as broken or as sad as I felt as a teenager. There were days, weeks, months when I thought about suicide, planned it, thought about the sheer relief of not having to get up the next day and face the world again. Of not having to continue to make an effort to be something other than what I felt I was – embarrassing, mediocre, unloved, unwanted. I would trace the lines on my wrist, and the only thing that kept me from doing it was my certainty that then I would burn in hell.

For most of my adolescent life, I thought my musical ability was the only special thing about me. I loved to sing and play the piano. It was one of the only things that made me stop thinking, made life bearable, made me break out of my narcissistic fog of self-pity. So I would sing – ALL THE TIME. I used to drive my family up the wall with it. I’d play the piano and sing for literally hours in the living room and my brothers would be like, would you SHUT UP already, I’m trying to watch TV. My mom would have to come out into the music room after a while to try to get me to stop. She didn’t want to discourage me from singing or playing, but there was a limit to how many times anyone in the family could listen to me sing “On My Own,” at full volume before they went stark, raving mad.

I had a nice voice in the way that millions of girls have nice voices, because they can sing in tune and have a nice tone. Nice, but run of the mill. I used to dream that I would be good enough to sing on Broadway someday. I knew that wasn’t really an option - I wasn’t at that level, but I wished it was true.

Still, now and then people would turn around in their pews at church to tell me that I had a pretty voice and it made me feel like maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t totally worthless. One day when I was feeling particularly awful about my life, someone told me that I sang like an angel, and it made me so happy that I started crying right there on the spot. I would sing a solo in church, and people would seek me out afterward to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I would collect those little compliments, store them up inside and bring them out and think about them when I was especially unhappy. They were like little pockets of warmth in the middle of a long bitterly cold winter. They made me feel better when I felt like there was nothing good about me at all. And there were a lot of times like that.

When I got out of my teens, I started to figure things out emotionally and socially. I think I probably had a chemical imbalance for a while (it runs in my family) and it was clearing off. I started to recognize my own value, and started to learn how to get along in the world. I learned how to be happy, and how to feel hopeful.

I still sang whenever I had the opportunity, but I didn’t crave the attention so much – didn’t need it in order to feel o.k. about myself. I was happy. Music was just something else that was good about life, not the only thing.


A year after I got married, I decided that even though I’d never really do anything with it, it would be fun to take voice lessons, just to finally get some training. My sister was taking lessons from someone who she raved about, so I called him up and made an appointment.

I will never forget the conversation I had with the voice teacher after he’d spent a half an hour “getting to know” my voice. He told me I had a nice voice, a good ear, was perfectly in tune, and a great sight reader, and I thanked him, feeling good about his comments. Then he went on.

“You know, I like to compare people’s voices to pianos. Some people, like Leslie,” (his star pupil) “have Steinways. Other people have cheap little Casio keyboards. You, I think, have a very nice, serviceable little Yamaha.”

I didn’t know enough about piano brands to be able to place myself very accurately on the range of piano goodness, but I could tell from his tone that it wasn’t that great, wasn’t that special, and never would be.

And even though I already knew that I had a “nice” voice, and not an amazing one, it broke my heart a little to hear it, for sure, from a professional. I think somewhere in my heart I’d always held on to that dream of one day being Jodi Benson or something, however unrealistic a dream it might have been. I came home crying from the first lesson and never went back. My husband wanted to go punch the guy out, because he could see how much that comment had wounded me.

To hear that this one thing, this one thing I’d thought might be a little special – not Hollywood special, but special enough to mean that I was special, really wasn’t that special after all? It hurt me.

Every time I sang I thought, not that special, not that great. I lost my confidence. And my voice over time has gotten less steady, less confident, less clear. Self fulfilling prophecy.

For a long time, I couldn’t sit at the piano and play what I wanted anyway, because my kids would crawl all over me requesting Disney songs, or on Top of Spaghetti, or songs from Annie. I would sometimes go months at a time without ever sitting down to play anything for myself. It's only recently that I've started to get reacquainted with how happy it makes me to sing, just for the sheer joy of doing it.

When Abby had croup she asked me, “Mom, are lullabies just for night time?” I told her no, so she put her head in my lap and I sang to her for a few minutes, stroking her hair. After a bit she asked me, “When I grow up will I sing just like you, Momma? I want to sing just like you.” It was probably the best, sweetest compliment of my life, and I nodded through a haze of tears and told her she would sing even better, and then I cleared my throat and sang her to sleep.

And I thought - what a wonderful gift. I’ve wavered in my beliefs now and then, but today, right now, I feel pretty sure that my voice was a gift. Not a gift in the way that people usually mean, as in gifted, but as in - God loved me enough to give me a voice that, while not special enough for the stage or any kind of acclaim, would carry me through a time of despair, would help me feel special when I couldn’t feel my own worth, would give me a reason to go on. And now I can use my voice to sing to my children, to help my daughter to feel how much I love her, to help make my children feel special and adored and wanted. That IS a gift - one I am incredibly grateful for.

And it’s definitely something to sing about.

64 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I was also very tortured as a child and teen, still dealing with some of those ghosts. And to all of us who aren't even an instrument, you are a wonderful singer and pianist, because you CAN and so you DO. And to us the only way to experience music is through the gift of others, and what an amazing gift to share. So again on behalf of all of us non-instruments, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't have a good singing voice to speak of, but I've always been amazed at the wonderful medium music is for the spirit. I cherish the times, however few and far between, that I can sit at the piano and play primary songs or hymns or whatever and feel the spirit so strongly. I'm so glad you recognize your voice as a gift from God. It most definitely is. It got you through some very difficult times and now it is blessing your life (and your children's lives)in other ways. Thanks for sharing such a tender and personal part of you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I so want to give your teenager self a big hug. Touching post. It's great that you had something to hold onto.

    I definitely used to wish I was the Little Mermaid. I can't carry a tune, but I used to wish it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nicki1:15 AM

    Your writing is beautiful. The thought that you could ever think you weren't special...I can't believe it.

    Your experience with your daughter reminded me so much of my mom. I used to beg her to sing "You are my sunshine" to me every day. I adore her for teaching me how to show love to my children through my voice. It's provided unforgettable moments for me.

    I'm so glad you never made good on your troubled teenaged plans. Getting to know you has been such a pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a sad, sweet and happy post. Thank you for sharing. Isn't it great that our children don't really care about the make or model--they just recognize the beautiful music?

    ReplyDelete
  6. i'd question that teacher. he sounds very limited. yamahas can do amazingly creative & quality songs and end up selling a million albums.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I want to deck that voice teacher too. Who says stuff like that?! But I am definitely glad you've been able to see your voice as a gift again. I'm guessing we're probably on the same level voice-wise, and I definitely view my talent as a gift from God. So keep singing, even if it is just to your kids. They're the best audience anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was a great post - and, no, I didn't even have to struggle to get to the end. :-)
    First of all, that voice teacher was making an excuse. Not for you or your talent, but for him and the amount of time he was willing to commit. What a crappy teacher - I am glad that you never went back and gave him your money. He didn't deserve it. No teacher should ever tell a student that they are less than a Steinway. Why would any of us work any harder than to try to stay in tune?
    Second,
    You really must watch the PBS series on the human brain. I had so many of the same feelings and thoughts as a teenager, but this series talks about the brain as it changes and literally re-wires through adolescence. It helped me sort of 'forgive' myself or maybe 'let myself of the hook' about that part of my life. I look back at my teen years and think, "Who was that girl for certainly it wasn't me."
    Sorry this is so long.
    Finally, my father is a composer. He told me once that God gives us all sorts of gifts - music and laughter and words etc. Every one got different gifts, no two are the same. What a shame it would be if we didn't use our gifts? To that I say - Sing out loud so everyone can hear you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for your comments on teenagerdom - I'll keep them in mind as I cope with my Anna. But did you lash out at your family with your misery? Or did you still like them? Just curious....

    Keep on singing - I'll go punch that guy out too - how cruel. When I was younger, I never sang, because I was convinced I had a bad voice (and I probably did - I couldn't "hear" music very well). For some reason, as I got older, my ear got better and I sing constantly to my children. Nursery rhymes, lullabies, whatever is on the radio - there's nothing so freeing and joyful as singing out loud! I am so grateful that having kids gives me an excuse to sing out loud every day (although it probably drives my teenage daughter crazy).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, Sue! Your post breaks my heart! More and more I wish I could do those days over again,knowing what I know now.
    Your singing and playing always brought me joy in my own dark times. And no matter what "Jeff" said, your voice is much more than a Yamaha...it is a beautiful gift from God. Treasure it,sing and play the piano every day. I keep hoping that by using my meager voice to support the ward choir and limited piano talents to serve others, in heaven God will bless me with the solo voice I've always wished for.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was not a self serving post. It is a beautifully written piece of yourself. Your words echo the pain so many teens and adults feel. I thought my mom sang like an angel and I loved to hear her sing. You have given your children a gift that they will carry all their lives. Thank you for the gift of your story.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How very very precious.
    I have a horrible singing voice. NOT easy on the ears. I know it. Still when my babies were little they would ask for a story or a song. They never minded my terrible voice. I called it my joyful noise.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow wow wow. What a beautiful post. I also went through a bitter winter in my adolescence, and writing was one source of warmth. We are so blessed that God gives us something to hold onto when he knows the times are going to be tough.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As a woman who made a pretty good living with only a fair-to-middlin' voice... I say "Phaugh" to Steinway voices. Although, somedays I still yearn for a set of pipes like Aretha, I gotta ask; are the "Wiggles" high art? Do they have Steinway quality vocal chords? Naw... but think about how much light and joy they bring into the world with their spirited renditions of "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga" ans "Cold Spaghetti."

    You and me, with our "nice" voices.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ooops! That last one was me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Debbie11:41 AM

    This made me cry. Being a teenager is horrible. I'm glad that life is so much happier for you now. Music is so healing, so wonderful. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wrote about my own depression once here. I understand the feeling.

    I also have a serviceable voice, but I have hated singing in public every time, and now refuse to do it. One of the privileges of adulthood.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't think I'm even a Yamaha, maybe just a generic living room console. But my piano comforted me through my lonely school age and teen years too. And I definitely think sharing my musical gifts in church made them and me stronger. I think sometimes when we're "mediocre" it inspires other people to try their own hand at things.

    I used to love to listen to my mom sing. And when I became an adolescent I most definitely heard her singing voice coming out of my mouth. It made me sad when she stopped singing in her 50's because she felt her voice wasn't pretty anymore (which is also when her mental health declined). Music is most definitely good for the soul.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This was a beautiful post. To some you may be a Yahama, but to others, you are the true Steinway. All opinions are subjective, the good, the bad and the 'Yamahas'. I am so glad you were able to see that. You ARE gifted - with your singing for your children, and with your writing for those of us reading your blog.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    - Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  20. I always used to listen to you singing Les Mis and church music and even Disney songs and wish to heaven that I could sing like you. Still do.

    As for that voice teacher, he's just a jerk. Remember a few years ago a girl sang a solo in General Conference? She's got a gorgeous voice, and it turns out she's actually a huge pop star in Brazil. She came to the US and ended up going to him for whatever reason and he pretty much told her she sucked. Yeah, sure, they always let sucky singers have solos in General Conference. J-E-R-K. He's wrong about her and he's wrong about you.

    I think he's just bitter because no one will sign any of his students.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh I just loved, loved your last paragraph of this post. You are awesome! Of course it made me cry!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Keep singing. The world needs all kinds of voices. That was a beautifully written post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sue - You have a beautiful voice. I've heard you sing several times and always thought you had the voice of an angel. You have a gift and there are many things that you can do with it. I've always been an adequate to a little better than some, singer and pianist. I've sung with choirs, choruses (big and small). But my greatest joys have been singing to my kids and grandkids, helping with music programs in their schools and just playing the piano for my own enjoyment. It seems as though you've also found that the best use of your gift is with your family.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think it is amazing that you can recognize how the Lord gave you something so special to bless the lives of your children & sustain you through such hard times. you don't really think of gifts from God in that way, but that's exactly what they are.
    I am sorry things were so terrible as a teenager. My heart was breaking for you reading this. I had to just keep thinking of how great you turned out and how blessed we are to have you part of our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for sharing your story. For me, it is nice to hear the honesty of struggling with faith, self confidence, and the like. That's a similar story to my own, except I'm still young (24) and trying to figure it all out! :) So thank you, you're inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  26. And another thing - Steinways can be overrated.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a strange analogy--it's not like your voice can't go from a serviceable Casio to a Yamaha to a Steinway with a good teacher (Yamahas are very good, btw). Your vocal quality isn't carved in stone. That's what teachers are FOR.

    I've had a flute teacher crush my spirit too at a time when music was the pretty much the only thing that could cut through the fog. It took me a while to ever pick up the instrument again.

    I know this wasn't a funny post, but I had to laugh at the image of you singing "On My Own" over and over. Is there anybody roughly my age who DIDN'T sing Les Mis constantly? I myself dreamed of being Eponine and listened to the soundtrack and sang along over and over until it was ruined. I used to sing "A Little Fall of Rain" over and over. Don't you fret, Monsieur Marius....

    ReplyDelete
  28. It was strange for me to read this. Beyond strange. I could have written so much of this, especially about our eerily similar teenagehoods. Something that should never, ever, be written off. So much of who we become is rooted in those angst ridden years. And so much of who we can become involves overcoming that. Thanks for sharing this. I know that's what everyone else is saying, but thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  29. BTW, Sue, book orders are Grandma's specialty. I can use my "bonus points" to get books free. Have Megan show her book orders to ME! I totally support her love of books. Then, someday, she can say, "at least GRANDMA let me buy something from my book order!"

    ReplyDelete
  30. What in incredibly beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I was crying at the end of this. As a teenager right now, I'm going through a slightly toned down version of what you felt. It's good to know that someone made it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sue, I loved this post. My heart broke for you as a teenager. I know you didn't write it seeking sympathy. However, i seem to relate a bit to it. I cried. I love that you have such a gift from Heavenly Father that has been able to sustain you through those hard times and also to bless the lives of your children.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Delurking to say that I loved this post too. I love the funny ones too of course, but this really touched me. I think it helps when people are willing put themselves out there, because then we know we aren't alone. (says the girl with no blog)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sounds like a Casio TEACHER. Who would say that? Even if it were true? What kind of self-absorbed, obviously-doesn't-want-new-students teacher would say that???

    I take it back, he's not a Casio, he's a Schroeder's piano. (from Charlie Brown)

    Great post, Sue.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh, honey! How moving! That was wonderful - thank you for sharing. You're RIGHT - your voice is a gift, to you, your children. What a touching post.

    ReplyDelete
  37. What an awesome post. I loved the ending. It's amazing how children say the right things at the right time.

    ReplyDelete
  38. How sweet. Children are the best.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great post. I'm in tears and I needed to hear the last part today.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love that your wrote this post. My eyes got all teary reading the part about singing to Emma and her sweet comments. You do have a beautiful voice and how blessed your kids are to have a mom with such great talents that will bless their lives.
    I remember when Kevin and I got married you sang at our reception in Salt Lake and I remember thinking how beautiful it was.
    I didn't realize all that you went through as a teenager. I'm so sorry. Despite all those challenges and heartaches you have turned into one amazing woman!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Good grief I'm in tears. There must be something in the air because I was, just this past weekend, mulling over my lonely, angry, despair filled adolescents. I know despair, too, sister. Ah those feelings of wanting to be special, to be different, to be worthwhile to someone, anyone. I know them so well. I still feel them. In fact I was telling my newborn daughter the other night that I hoped she grows up to like herself, unlike her mommy. Anyway, thanks for the story about your daughter. Gave me hope. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Music can be so healing! Thanks for the awesome post. I'm bawling like a baby.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you for this. I got your blog link through Sally. I bet I would love listening to you sing. I had a unique challenge in high school that made me change my view on what is a gift and how we should use it. Carry on your lullaby singing Mother!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am so overwhelmed by so many of these comments. I cried more than once reading them, that is all I’m gonna say.



    O.k., OBVIOUSLY, that’s not all I’m gonna say. Thank you all so much for your kindness and for all of the wonderful thoughts. I really am tempted to respond one by one to a lot of these, but I doubt you will all come back to check the comments to read them anyway (plus I don’t want to be accused of artificially inflating my comment count, tee hee). I’ll just echo back Nicki’s words and say it is such a pleasure for me, getting to know each of YOU. It really is.

    I wonder why we all feel so alone sometimes, and yet when we are going through it, it always seems impossible that anyone would understand?

    Connie and Wendy and Jess, thank you for saying such incredibly nice things about my voice. Deafness is a quality I value in all of my relatives, tee hee. Wendy, thank for sharing that about Jeff. Ugh.

    Wiz, yeah, I think every adolescent, angsty, musical girl imagines she is Eponine at some point. I don’t know anyone who identified with Cosette.

    Chica, I hope you are doing o.k. - that you are feeling alright. Life really does change, and you change, and things get better. It IS worth it. And you know all those horrible clichés about how trials make us into who we are? They’re totally true, which kind of sucks, I know.

    Annie, that is my hope for my kids too – I want them to know how loved they are, how special they are. If I accomplish that one thing, maybe that will be enough.

    Welcome to all the people who delurked – the cloaking devices must remain OFF, o.k.?

    Sally - thanks for the link : >

    Mom, I hope this post didn’t make you feel bad. You were dealing with nine children, and dad, and with everything that was going on at that time in our family. Now that I’m a mom, I really GET it so much more than I did before – how crazy having nine kids must have made you. How incredibly soul suckingly hard it must have been. I get it. And honestly, I don’t know if there is much you could have done for me anyway – I think a lot of it was chemical. And YOU were the one who taught me to play the piano. YOU were the one who encouraged us to sing. You gave me my lifeline. I love you, mom.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Okay, here I go, comment #46

    I was an awkward, unattractive teenager as well, in fact... I don't think awkward even adeqately describes it, maybe painfully awkward is better.

    If you were writing this post about anybody other than yourself it could have been ME.

    Our gifts may not be anything outstanding (to the naked eye), but they are individual and given to us for a reason. I'm glad you've realized yours.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Whoa, that's so crazy. My brother-in-law took lessons from him for years. I actually took a lesson from him once while I was visiting them in Vegas. I can say I didn't have a bad experience, but I was extremely intimidated . I think Leslie was singing in the room with him before I got there... ;)

    Btw, I almost peed my pants when I saw myself on your blogroll.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Damien, I'm sorry, I hope this doesn't offend you, but I deleted your comment. I just don't want to get into calling the man by name and all of that kind of stuff. It makes me a little uncomfortable. But thank you for the kindness and support, I really appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Sue--I loved the part of this post when you talk about your daughter's appreciation of your gift. It made me think of those unspectacular gifts that I have been given and their very real (if hard to recognize) value. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  49. so I go away for a coupl eweeks and here you are a CELEBRITY! Check out these massive comments?!?! YOU are SOOOOO special!!!!! It just comes straight at ya out of the computer screen when we all read your take on things- you're amazing! What a special gift and very very special experience recognizing it as such. Bless little Emma!
    LOVE YA!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. madhousewife3:54 PM

    As a fellow (sister?) Yamaha (though not in the voice department--there I'm a MegaBloks piano), I am still figuring out how my gift will be most useful. This is a lovely post. I really appreciated it.

    And when it comes to blogging, you are a Steinway! (Or at least a high-quality Kawai. Not one of those cheap ones that the church buys. ;) )

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow! Very powerful... It is funny - because you post about the things I think about posting about... dodododo... I had a hard time as a teenager too.. I never felt comfortable in my own skin- I would never want to go back to Highschool.. shame on that voice teacher! I hope that my children never have a teacher who says they are not good enough ...

    ReplyDelete
  52. That post was beautiful. I am in tears. I remember listening to you singing and hoping that someday I would have a voice as lovely as yours, although I don't think that ever happened. I also remember thinking how special you were for being in madrigals and singing solos at church all the time. To be honest, I was pretty jealous.
    I miss singing at the piano with you. We haven't done that in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  53. You brought a tear to my jaded eye. I relate to sooooo much of what you had to say.

    ReplyDelete
  54. i thought i commented on this post days ago...apparently I'm losing my mind.
    first, this is so honest and beautiful, sue. thank you.
    second, one of the things that struck me so much about this post is the power of words (ie the power of your voice teacher's yamaha comment to shake your confidence indefinitely.) kindness, kindness and more kindness. that's almost always the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I just discovered your wonderful little blog home here and this post touched me deeply because I could so relate to it. I finally took up piano lessons again after a 25 year hiatus and it has felt so good. I'll never play like David Lanz, but in my heart and my head, I do.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Wow, this is a beautiful post. I appreciated reading it.

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  57. ok, I've read your blog too long that I need to post. On top of the beautiful gift you just described that so many others can relate to you also have great talent of writing. I can't believe how intriguing and how much I have enjoyed reading your blog. It's hilarious yet very down to earth and real. Thanks for letting me lurk.

    ReplyDelete
  58. That's a beautiful story. Most of us are Yamahas, aren't we? And we just see what great things we can do with what we've got.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This is way after the fact, and you may not ever read this, but let me say, I am a very experienced pianist, with two degrees in Piano Performance. And while I would love a Steinway in my home, it ain't gonna happen.

    What piano do I have?

    That's right...a Yamaha. And guess what? I LOVE Yamahas. I love their tone, I love their fabulous actions, I love that they are reliable. My first teacher loved Yamahas so much she would choose a Yamaha over a Steinway.

    I am so glad that your daughter helped you find the joy in singing again, but I also want you to say "I'm a Yamaha" with major pride. If only I could sing like I can play my Yamaha, I would be a happy woman.

    Like your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Aww. I liked this. I grew up thinking I had a great voice too and then I left choir alone in high school to pursue the violin in orchestra.

    And then I auditioned for choir at BYU only to be rejected. Didn't even get into Women's Chorus. I come from a long line of choir singers. (And a music professor at BYU whose name I refused to drop).

    Just this past month I worked up the courage to audition for a choir that my Mom and brother sing in. I have wanted to sing in the choir for years, but haven't because I was afraid I wasn't good enough and I didn't want to get in just because the conductor is good friends with my mom. I wanted to get in on my own merit.

    I don't know what will happen at the audition. I know I don't have a solo voice. I'm a good blender and I have great musical instincts. But if I do get in, I'll never know if it was on my own merit. That is what has kept me from doing it.

    Then I asked myself, what do I really want? Do I want to know that I have an awesome voice or do I want the joy and experience of singing with a critically acclaimed ensemble? When I decided what I wanted was the latter, I decided it didn't matter how I get through the door, it matters what I do once I get in there.

    Of course, if I don't pass the audition I'll know that I REALLY suck :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. My hardest year of life was my freshman year of college, and I got through it by reading "Calvin and Hobbes" cartoons and copying some of the drawings into 8 x 10 size. I still have those drawings in a box, and whenever I look at them I am reminded of the torturous year that was. The old saying "that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger" is true, I guess, because your writing displays a tremendous depth of character.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Touching.
    I love trying to sing.. but my voice is pretty bad... but I love doing it just because I enjoy it.
    But I know what you mean.. the same thing happened to me.. I went to one voice lesson and came home crying because of how bad my voice must have been for her to make me sing 'the cat sat on the mat,etc, etc', and tell me to go home and practise singing it.
    Oh well..

    I bet you sing better than you give yourself credit for.

    ReplyDelete