I stand looking out at the crowd and I feel my heart start to race. They’re not particularly paying attention to me, but they’re still there. And of course all I can think is that they’ll judge me if I do poorly. The music starts: eight measures of intro and then it’s time. I have to start singing. By myself. It’s karaoke!
The last time I sang by myself in public was nearly ten years ago – in college. To be fair, that was to an auditorium packed with friends and fellow students for a musical/humor competition among the Greek houses. And in law school I was in the musical as well, though I don’t think I had a solo. It’s possible that I did and I was just too drunk to remember. Either way, it’s not as though I’ve never done this before.
But it’s been at least seven years and a lot has changed since then. While I’ve become more confident and comfortable with myself, I’ve also lost a lot of the bravado and sheer fearlessness of youth. I blog all the time about intensely personal things, but I don’t want some drunk strangers to think I shouldn’t be up here singing.
Too late now: the intro is over and I dive right in. I’ve picked one of my favorite Indigo Girls’ songs, I Don’t Wanna Talk About It. I know it by heart, I’ve sung it hundreds of times in the car or in the kitchen, it’s perfect for my range, and I absolutely love it. I get a bit of a rocky start, but soon I relax into the song. I stop thinking about the girls who’ve already been up here singing Adele like they deserve a record deal. I let myself feel the emotion of the song and I do my best to put it out there.
By the end, I’m in love with this experience. Instead of looking to the crowd, I look to my friends in the booth near the front. They’re clapping for me, cheering me on. I finish the last phrase, take a breath, look around, and then celebrate!
I can cross another item off my 30 Before 30 List. I have a little over three months to go and I’m about halfway done. Considering that I started three months ago, I’m calling that pretty awesome. Here’s the complete list with my progress so far. More to come soon!
- Fund 30 Kiva loans (20 so far!)
- Submit something to be published (Done!)
- Do 30 Days of Truth (In progress)
- Learn Photoshop (Done!)
- Get a new tattoo
- Write a novel (or participate in NaNoWriMo)
- Finish Project 52 (In progress)
- Get something published (Done!)
- Go somewhere I’ve never been before (Done! Maui!)
- Climb a 14K (Scheduled)
- Forgive someone
- Find my go-to Karaoke song (Done!)
- Master one yoga pose
- Do a cleanse (Done!)
- Go to an opera
- Master a difficult song on the piano (In progress)
- Find a good place to volunteer and start volunteering
- Start composting (Done!)
- Print photo albums
- Learn how to use camera in manual mode (Done!)
- Do something that terrifies me
- Write a business plan (Done!)
- Do something fun for my 30th birthday
- Audit a science class
- Take a hot air balloon ride
- Paint a picture (Done!)
- Watch the Godfather movies
- Purchase a very expensive, staple item of clothing/accessory (Chanel?)
- Get a facial (Done!)
- Forgive myself (Done-ish)