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Sarah Braesch lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband, boy/girl twins and two very loud cats. Sarah blogs at Sarah and the Goon Squad, Draft Day Suit and various other places. Her confessional blog, Sarah and the Goon Squad, documents the everyday life of raising a family in a way that is both empathetic and hysterical.

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I Am… Trying to Be Brave

By Goon Squad Sarah |

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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About Goon Squad Sarah

goonsquadsarah

Goon Squad Sarah

Sarah Braesch lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband, boy/girl twins and two very loud cats. Her confessional blog, Sarah and the Goon Squad, documents the everyday life of raising a family in a way that is both empathetic and hysterical. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sarah's latest posts →

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10 thoughts on “I Am… Trying to Be Brave

  1. [...] Okay, I lied, this is kind of related one of the earlier things, but I wrote this post about working up my nerve to audition for a solo over on That’s Right, You Heard Me. [...]

  2. Delora says:

    You should totally audition to build up the practice. Even if you don’t get this solo, there may be another one down the line that you would consider killing your other choir members to get. You don’t want to bomb that audition, so use this one to build your confidence. And if you get this one – even better; you can use this solo to build your confidence at actually performing a solo so you won’t be freaked out about performing that next one!

  3. Laurie says:

    It’s so funny that you call it your hobby because I consider it so much more than a hobby, and instead such an intrinsic part of who you (interestingly, given the “I am” piece here) really are. I think that’s why it’s so much harder to risk.

    Of course you do it. But you knew that already. And this time I think it will be okay.

  4. daniel says:

    Do it. If you fall flat (ha) on your face, they can give you constructive feedback about what to do better next time. Also, if you don’t do it, you know you’ll have been able to nail it and will be kicking yourself for not doing it. Do it for your kids. Show them you can take risks, and be okay with the outcome.

  5. smart aleck says:

    Of course do it—and if those people saw you suck last time, they will have that as their comparison, meaning you will really kick ass this time.
    Think of it as the baby bird trying to fly out of the nest (yes, I watch a lot of nature shows). The first time they are wobbly, but everyone tears up the first time they really soar.
    Or maybe it’s just me.

    Just remember this–you can sing. Oprah, for all of her big bucks has admitted that she cannot sing, and would pay a fortune to be able to do so.
    So, you can do something that Oprah cannot. No reason to bottle that up.

  6. Justice Fergie says:

    Omigoodness I had NO idea that you sang. What a gift! You should definitely do it. My husband was quoting John Stockton this morning for some reason and he said: “You’ll miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.” (see? I pulled out a sports quote for ya) So…take this shot! If you don’t you’ll deny yourself any possible chance of getting the solo. You can do it!

  7. ohjennymae says:

    i hope you did it/do it! i, too, hate sight-reading! and i’m good at it, but i get hella-nervous & suck when it comes time to audition.

  8. [...] The audition was last night. [...]

  9. Suebob says:

    Sometimes the things that makes us most afraid are the things we need most to do (not dark-alley afraid, but nerves afraid).

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