I learned an important lesson today..ok more than lesson-something vital about myself. I can no longer sing solo. I know there was a time that I loved to be a featured vocalist. I craved it and felt an overwhelming joy in owning the spotlight and sharing music with an audience. Connecting with them. Being a character. Manipulating their emotions to match the mood I wanted to convey.
Today was the first time in many years that I was to be a featured musical number. I've had the song for 2 weeks. I am not exaggerating when I say that I practiced the song for at least 2 hours every day the past two weeks. Mainly, because my range and ability to hold any sort of whole note was lacking. But, after much practice, I was really feeling confident that I was going to be able to perform this amazing song and really be able to help bring the Christmas message it had to everyone. I prayed so hard that I would be able to overcome the anxiety that was building about performing, so that I could sing this song.
I practiced with the pianist the day before and the run through went great. She was confident that we only did one run through.
So, today, I stood up to sing...I had been ringing my hands for nearly an hour, waiting for that moment. I got through..oh the first line...and then I crumbled. The anxiety of performing in front of this room of people with no one to help me, or to fall back on just began to flood me. I was overwhelmed entirely by it. I began to cry uncontrollably, but forced myself to continue in the song. Someone passed a tissue up front, and with each break in the words, I resolved that I was going to get control of myself and do this song justice. I even sang most of it with my eyes squeezed shut, trying to beat out the performance anxiety, but 2 words into the next line and the fear would win out all over again. The song is 5 minutes, so by the end I was off key and just a total mess.
I was crippled by fear. I ran out to my car and had a complete panic attack. A few incredibly kind people have told me that my song did touch them.
That it was full of the Spirit and really moved them that I was so moved
by the song to tears. Sadly, that wasn't the case at all. The truth is...I have a talent, that is no longer easy or possible for me to share with others. This frustrates me and breaks my heart. Maybe I was too proud of my voice as a kid and this is just life balancing things out. I'm not sure how to face people after this. I'm mortified honestly. I know I can't keep myself from going back to church, but I am deeply hoping that people don't mention it at all and we can all pretend that I didn't have a complete panic attack in front of 35 people who are mostly strangers to me. Maybe soon, I'll sing it for myself, and record it so that I know and can remember that I was able to sing the song beautifully, the way it's meant to be shared.
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