I Did A Very Scary Thing (Or, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway)

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Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

This week I did something that scared the pants off me.

Fortunately not my actual pants, but my figurative pants. My figurative capri pants.

I sang a song. In front of a relative stranger. With my neighborhood-cats-are-crying singing voice.

Why, you may ask, would I inflict this aural abuse on someone?

One of my personal goals for 2013 is to learn to sing. So here’s how it happened…

[Cue flashback wavy screen]

I find a teacher and schedule a lesson. He comes over and we start talking about breathing and core muscles and mouth shapes. So far, so good. This isn’t so hard, I think.

Then he asks me to sing a song for him.

Wait, what? But you haven’t taught me anything yet!

It seems he wants to hear my pre-lessonated, peoples’-ears-are-bleeding, singing voice.

I’m not counting on that, and I now face a dilemma.

I’ve been told many times how bad my singing is. Van Gogh’s ordeal is, to me, proof of time travel and the fact that my Terminator self went back to late-19th-Century Holland and sang at the artist while he tried to paint.

I open my mouth and feel mortified. I’m terrified and on the verge of saying, Do you smell smoke? Run away, run away!

And then it hits me.

It doesn’t matter that I’m scared. It’s just a feeling. I can feel it and still sing at this poor unsuspecting guy. I can be afraid and also do the thing that I fear.

And so I do. It’s kind of a moment of truth, because at my age you don’t do that many new things and you definitely don’t do many scary things.

I opt for Dream a Little Dream Of Me and I sing two verses and, contrary to my expectations, the earth doesn’t open up and swallow me whole. My teacher’s face doesn’t look like he’s trying not to laugh/vomit/stop his ears from committing suicide. I survive. He survives. I silently thank the forethought gods for making me close all the windows before my lesson.

Afterwards I feel really happy with myself. I was brave! It felt good to take a chance, to put myself out there. And now I’ve done the most embarrassing part. I can move forward and learn to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

2, 3, 4… MIDNIGHT! Not a sound from the pave– 

Yeah okay.

So How About You?

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but felt afraid to try?

Are you letting yourself be held back by embarrassment, or nervousness, or sheer, mortal terror?

You can feel that fear, and still take that step.

I promise you – you will survive without those figurative capri pants.

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