This morning, I was singing along to one of my all-time favorite CDs, Tails, by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories.
When I sing, mainly when I sing when I’m alone in the car, I tend to experiment with trills, harmonies, and various vocal varieties. At one point, I was grinning hugely, because I was really enjoying myself. I was playing with my voice and some of my favorite music, and I was having a huge lot of fun.
Then I realized that this is something new. I wouldn’t have done this a few months ago. I would have been singing along, sure. But I wouldn’t have been playing. I wouldn’t have been experimenting. And I wouldn’t have been having anywhere near as much fun.
I used to identify as a singer. I sing. I have a good voice. I was in choir for eight years, took private voice lessons for four. I’ve performed alone and as a group. I’ve won competitions and medals. I took it all very seriously. I wanted to be a professional singer, but was told that I’d never make a living that way; it wasn’t possible, it wasn’t easy. It was yet another in a series of things I was told I couldn’t do – and I didn’t believe otherwise. I was discouraged. I gave it up. Dropped out of classes, and, eventually, stopped singing.
And somewhere, I dropped the label. And the enjoyment faded along with the dream.
I took the label off – but I couldn’t get the song out of me.
After a while, alone in my car, I started singing. I started putting my voice out there for my ears to hear. I started humming in stores, whistling while I work. Music wound her way back into my heart. I was reminded of how much I enjoy singing, even if I’m not “serious” about it.
Now, today, I am a singer. I define myself. I am what I want to be, and I want to be a singer. I love singing! Even if no one else ever hears me, I am a singer for me. And when I opened up to that, when I let myself feel the possibility, when I stopped pushing myself down… that’s when I sing louder and happier and fuller, every note. That’s when I make myself laugh, when I sing with tears streaming down my face, when I hear myself and love myself and let myself shine.
I am a singer because I sing.
What do you want to be?