It’s 3am in Phoenix and I just signed up for singing lessons.
But! You are a dancer! Where have you been? What the heck!?? You left us hanging – for like – years…..
Whatcha doin’ signing up for some singing lessons? Heck, your whole stupid blog is about ballroom dancing. WTF Grrrrrrllllll? What gives?
Where to start?
Yeah, we could start there.
Gaining back the weight so I’m now, as of today, 300.2 pounds, just 12.8 pounds shy of my all-time maximum.
Yeah, we could start there.
Rearranging my life to move to Kentucky for a job opportunity for 6 months and returning home just in time to be sequestered and isolated due to a global pandemic?
Yeah, that happened, too.
Shoot. It’s been rough on both my mental and physical health. And it’s time to turn a new page, starting now.
When I was a little girl, I would go out into my backyard, climb on my swing and sing to the Lord Jesus for hours! I would sing and sing and sing! I didn’t care how good or bad I was, I just wanted to sing! I would swing, and sing and climb and hang from my knees (and if I was feeling really confident from just one!) Staring at the ground upside down singing about cleanliness, or that Comet would make you vomit or any cereal jingle I could think of! I sang everything!
I would climb up to the leathery gray fig tree arm crotch, pick the fruit, nibble at the seeds, listen to the air conditioning unit and sing up high! I would sing on one knee in a triangle around the metal swingset trapeze bar.
But as an adult, I’m a closet singer. A shower singer. In-the-car-singer. I do well in choirs. Musicals suit me.
But there was always something so embarrassing to me about singing, really singing, like you meant it, out loud, in front of people.
When it was just me, the fig tree, swing set and air conditioner unit, I was channeling Aretha Franklin!
But then, the horror……! Have you ever heard that you don’t sound to others like you do to yourself? Well, the way I hear my voice was NOT how it sounded at Disneyland when I recorded myself as Snow White at one of their kiddie exhibits. It was this breathy, disgusting, and unrecognizable tone coming back at me. I never wanted to sing again!
But, oh I did – safely – in groups. Yes mom signed us up for the church choir and even though I sang in The Music Man, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Oliver! during high school musicals, I really was a dancer, you know? (There is safety in groups, just ask zebras)
And I would sing entire CDs inside the car with windows rolled up to and from Tucson and Phoenix during college for weekend home visits.
But never. Ever. In. Public. Alone.
Well, my beauties, I’m not dancing. I’m holed up in my condo working from home. I’m a cliche’ who has gained all the weight back and the worst part is, the worst part, is, I had lost my joy.
But something happened tonight. I got to thinking about when I newly moved to Phoenix and my friend’s sister was in the high school production of Grease. I couldn’t hardly contain myself in my seat, I wanted to be on that stage so badly. And I got to thinking about how when I’d had a few glasses of wine and was home alone late at night my favorite thing to do was blast show tunes and mournful ballads and sing them to the mirror. (Yes, I’m that cliche’ as well)
Enough is enough! It’s time I reconnect with my joy. My true joy is creative expression. I suppose that expression could be dancing or writing or, perhaps for me, even singing.
Fate plopped a long-forgotten book into my hands today as I was searching for some special books to pass along to my dear nephew for his birthday (you know, the kind of books you read as a kid and kept, knowing that when you had a kid you wanted to share that book with him or her).
The book fate plopped me is called Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. He basically says “The key is process, not product. Share something new every day….”
Well, I got inspired. Something inside me woke up. It rustled around like a one-legged beaver building a dam until I popped up, wide awake at 3am and signed up for singing lessons. Just five. You know, don’t want to go too crazy.
Then again…. all that ballroom business I used to write about started with just 5 lessons as well?