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I Am… Trying to Be Brave

I like to think of myself as brave.

I think most of the time I am. I am not afraid to try new things. I am not afraid to go places. I am not afraid of speaking in public. Clearly I am not afraid to tell the entire internet how I feel about things.

But sometimes I am not so brave.

Most of the time I feel good about my parenting. Fine, about half of the time I feel good about my parenting. Things will be going well, and then a kids gets hurt because you tried so hard to say yes to something or another adult tell you that you are doing it wrong, or the classic, the child saying “YOU are the WORST MOM IN THE WORLD!”

Still. I know that I try really hard to do what is right.

Most of the time I feel pretty good about my work. Until I get a troll or worse, a colleague telling me otherwise.

Still, there are more positives than negatives and my paychecks are telling me that things aren’t so bad at work.

For some reason, the thing I am not brave about is one of my greatest joys. My hobby.

I sing.

While I have been paid to sing in the past and I had the requisite garage band in high school, at this point in my life I just sing in a large community choir. I did have to audition to get in and I am very proud of the work we do. My director is amazingly talented and I am surrounded by gifted singers.

When I first started singing there a few years ago I felt unworthy but I now know that I can hold my own.

A year and a half ago I got cocky and auditioned for the small ensemble. It was probably the worst audition I have ever witnessed and one of the least pleasant experiences of my entire life. My audition piece was fine, but the sight reading part was humiliating. There were times I couldn’t even find the beginning note. It was mortifying to suck so bad in front of three people that I have such high levels of respect for. I can’t believe I’m even writing about it, I generally attempt to block memories that are as painful as this one. If I end up with hysterical blindness later today, this was my trigger.

But that is all background to tell you this. I am trying to be brave. I am working up the courage to audition for a solo next week.

It is a little higher than my normal range, but I have all the notes and I think it sounds good.

My fears are as follows:

  • I have to audition in front of 99 other people
  • Every single one of those other 99 people is a singer
  • At least seven of them are also conductors
  • A lot of them are voice teachers
  • A lot of them are still currently taking lessons
  • All of them are really good singers
  • Three of them saw me suck that one time
  • If I get it I have to sing a solo in front of hundreds of people

 

So, I’m still thinking about doing it, because really, even if I don’t get it that is okay. I embarrass myself in front of tons of people on the internet every day, why should these 99 folks be any different? You know, besides the fact that I can see them.

Should I do it? Should I bag it? Do I even want a solo? What if I get a cold? Why am I so paranoid?

* * *

I wrote this for Alli’s “I AM” project. I may have strayed a little bit, but I am all of the things above and more.

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