At the start of 2011 I made myself a promise. I promised I was going to stop defining myself by who I thought I was when I was 15. that person was largely defined by who people (well meaning in many cases but often malicious) told me I could and could not be. I learned from them. I internalized and exaggerated their ideas. I was “defined” at 15 and never looked back.
One of the major things I “knew” was that I wasn’t the sort of girl who sang solos in choir. No matter how brave I was in the group, how boldly I sang when nobody could hear. I was the girl who choked at auditions and never got the part. And if some kind director wanted to reward my earnestness, I was guaranteed to fail in performance.
I’ve done my best to defeat that definition. I started auditioning, and choking. Soon, however, I found a niche. I could belt out a line from the safety of the chorus that was over before it began. I could force out my gutsy “chest voice” through my fears.
I started tearing away at that definition, but that wasn’t enough. The “pretty” solo still alluded me. I still choked when it came time for Latin or anything else I knew would result in standing alone at the front of the chorus with an untested mic and a voice that warbled when it was nervous.
Tonight, I’m no longer that girl, either. In about an hour I’m going to stand in front of my chorus and kick off our summer concert with a “pretty” solo. If I ever suspected I would have been quality enough at the audition to get it, I never would have dared. I was still working on not botching the audition a few weeks ago.
But that was then.