I don't like having New Year Resolutions; however, 2015 started with ideas for new experiences I wanted to put myself into. Such ideas came from seeking some change in my life. Yes I know, sounds like a New Year's Resolution, however, it was different because these ambitions were not unachievable or something that had to be ticked off the list. They were simple actions of just placing myself in situations no matter the result and that was an achievement in itself.
So it all began at the start of 2015 when I undertook singing lessons. After searching on the internet for a singing teacher, it took me a while to just find one. I finally stumbled across one teacher, with an amazing voice and it was the way she described what singing meant to her which, literally, struck a chord.
Singing in front of people terrified me as I was never confident enough in my ability. I grew up watching my older sister singing, someone who I see as, in general, being a lot more confident in just being herself. It was even mentioning that I wanted to undertake singing lessons that made me feel vulnerable and silly.
Finally getting the courage to just book a lesson, I had my first lesson a week later. I remember driving to that lesson, really nervous and of course, my sense of direction failed me, making me get lost and not helping to calm my nerves. Thoughts came and went that it was not too late to go home, I had the option right now to not go. It was this kind of thoughts that I use to listen to, it was that flight rather than fight response. Fleeing was something I always did when I was not able to control the outcome or in general when I was outside my comfort zone. This time, however, I didn't give in to such thoughts and I decided I was just going to go through with it. I walked in so nervous that when I sang my voice sounded raspy and I struggled throughout the lesson. However, walking out of the session was completely different- I didn't feel terrible, I was ecstatic and excited that I had achieved something which terrified me.
There was something my teacher had told me about accepting my voice, and not worrying how it sounds. To be able to just sing has taken a while to do. Most of the time now I just sing, not worrying how I sound but just singing for the joy of it. I revel in being able to lift my mood from just putting on some music and singing in the shower. It's just that amazing feeling of being able to change your mood or escape from the worries of life, from something as simple as using your voice.
I have to admit that 2 years of these lessons changed my life. It led to new creative paths such as art journaling, new people I have met in Australia at art journalling workshops and now overseas Meet up groups for Songwriting and Jam session (https://www.meetup.com). My singing journey gave me something to look forward to every week. It offered me a way to express and learn to accept myself and know that, like everyone else I am not perfect. However, I am content with just being me.