No, I'm not pregnant.
The secret is... I started singing lessons! It's sort of a big deal to me, because my sister Jenny has always been the singer in the family (she majored in Vocal Performance and is really good!) and I felt like that left no room for me to be a singer too. I have memories of wanting to sing and be good at it only to be made fun by my brothers or told that I can't sing by other family members.
Those memories may have become exaggerated over the years, but whether or not it really happened that way, I felt like no one wanted to hear me sing, and have felt that way for a very long time. Yet, I have always know that I can carry a tune and that I do have a pretty voice, I just need a little practice and training. It has been on my mind lately, so I took some action and found a voice teacher in classifieds. I have been taking lessons for about 5 weeks now and I am making great progress.
Tanner, of course, was the first to know. Then I confided in my sister Jenny. She was so excited for me and encouraged me to keep at it. (She was always the one throughout the years that wanted to hear me sing! Thanks, Jenny.) Then after a few weeks more I told my parents - and they were excited too! That made me so happy. I then spilled the beans to the rest of the family and will be inviting them all to my Christmas Recital!
It's so funny that it is such a big deal to me, but as mentioned - there are a lot of sensitive feelings around this topic. During my first lesson I almost burst into tears when I started singing - it was like I was letting my voice be heard for the first time and I didn't care if anyone didn't want to hear. I wanted to sing and I was going to - like it or not! As I continue to practice my voice gets louder and stronger (which I believe goes hand in hand with me getting over the issue of not being heard - and my own voice/opinions/ideas becoming louder and stronger.) Even as I write this I feel my singing lessons are more than just singing lessons - I am facing a longtime challenge and also some fears that I am ready to overcome.
I have had a few musical opportunities in the past, but this is the first time I have felt like I can really do it - and really want to.
I was in plays as a young girl - Tinker-bell in Peter Pan, a hobo in Annie, and best of all - a Horse - Lead Horse that is! in Ciderella. My sister was the Fairy Godmother and did a fantastic job - but can you image the little bit of shame I must have felt dressed up as a horse next to my amazingly talented lead-star sister?!
|Me and the fellow horses. I wish I could get my hands on |
that crushed white velvet one-piece again - so sexy!
|Jenny in the pink! Beautiful.|
Check out my hand placement and perfectly pointed toe - no wonder I was lead horse!
Fast forward 9 years and I am on my mission as a member of the Ambassadors Traveling Choir. Well, if I can't (couldn't) sing, how did I land that job? Well, one of the other girls (great singer) didn't get her Visa to come to Bulgaria on time; and my companion at the time got sick and had to go home. So I got put into the choir. It was definitely the highlight of my mission! We traveled all over Bulgaria and sang for hundreds of Bulgarians. It was an amazing opportunity to share our beliefs through music. The other 7 members of the choir were really musically talented - so, I was named the MC. And, once again, can you imagine how unmusical and insignificant I felt when matched up with these pros? But, God had a plan. I was designated as the one to close the program by sharing my personal testimony of Jesus Christ every time in every city for 2 months. It was awesome! But when it came to singing - I was the odd woman out.
Check out one of my songs - Build Me Up Buttercup. I did have a lot of fun singing this one - since it was a playful song and I was more backup. (You can hardly hear me - proof that I was embarrassed to sing.)
|The Ambassadors (Посланиците)|
|Singing on the streets and passing out invites to the concert|
|Doing my MC thing!|
|The whole group. |
(During the Summer there are miles and miles of sunflowers in Bulgaria!)
|Our tour bus!|
So, I am turning a new leaf and I am thrilled about it! Not to say it is coming easy and I am ready to be America's next Idol - but I am doing something that I have wanted to do for a long time and getting better at it. Singing is challenging, but so rewarding when I get it right and hear my improvements. I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the support and encouragement I am receiving! I look forward to learning and growing and letting my voice be heard! la la la...
|Lettin' my voice be heard, baby!|