I’ve always wanted to sing with the band. Instead, I sing in the car. Well, I used to sing in the car. It was one of my favorite parts of living in the country – all those long drives into town when I could kick back, put in my favorite song and play it loudly as I sang along. In my car, I was a rock star.
It’s not that I suck outside of my car. Or in it. My kids (brutally honest little beings that they are) have told me I sound good. Josh (a more biased judge, but also brutally honest) thinks I have a great voice. What I lack is self-confidence. I’m sure years of speech therapy, being forced to listen to my lousy pronunciations of every other consonant in the alphabet didn’t help that. I spent my childhood shying away from microphones and when finally getting in front of a few, choking magnificently in front of crowds of people who were probably thinking “See? I knew she’d screw it up.” Or so the voices in my head told me.
I’ve been getting better at telling those voices to shove it. I haven’t had a speech problem since I was 12. I just didn’t realize how much baggage I carried from that until recently, when it hit me as to why I was unable to get up and sing karaoke even though I wanted to. I’d watch people go up and think “Man, even I know I’m better than that.” But I’d stay locked in my chair. One day it suddenly came to me, why I wouldn’t get in front of a microphone. And it all seemed so silly, holding back because of what happened to me 20+ years ago. Ah, childhood scars. They do run deep, but you can tattoo over them and turn them into something pretty, right?
And so I did. Instead of thinking “Man, I can’t do that” and let those voices remind me of how much people thought I sounded horrible at age 10, I mentally tattooed over them with “Hey! You overcame SO much! Your speech is amazing now, no one would ever guess you were completely unintelligible as a child. Now get your ass up there and do what you want to do!” And so I did. So far, the minor times I’ve gotten in front of a microphone recently, people haven’t rolled their eyes or left the room. I guess I refuse to give up my dream of singing with a band.
Now, if I had the abilities, this is a song I’d belt out. The tune is a unapologetic, in your face, but not “Please stop screaming at me” style. It’s all over the place musically, and I like that. And there’s harps in it. What’s not to love about that? And as I tell my kids, if you practice enough, who knows? Maybe I could belt it out in public someday.
So let’s all sing along with Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over –