Just Keep Singing

10 Mar

Fearless: Pronunciation: fi()r-ls
Function: adjective
: free from fear : BRAVE

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That is what Merriam Webster’s defines fearless as. Fearless is the idea

 

that for a moment no matter how long it may be, you do something that challenges your comfort and places you, knowingly, into a vulnerable and honest state.

That is easier said than done.

This February (like the one that just ended) I was given a challenge to be fearless. Fearless is something that can only be defined in an ambiguous way. Without getting to psychological, we all have fears and they all come from different places. Bottom line: fear is relative and highly personal. What you fear is probably completely different from the person sitting in the room with you and both fears are probably different from my fears. Like any rationally irrational person, I have a few fears. Some make sense, others not so much, but they are there.  When I was told to look at the thing I fear and identify one specifically, I thought “Great, this will be a nice reflection on what I need to work “… or something like that.

I was wrong.

Reflection was part of the process, but it wasn’t the only part. I was then tasked with the assignment of conquering the fear. Awwhhhhaaat?! I suppose that you are asking, “What on Earth could your fear possibly be?” To which I will tell you in one simple, innocuous word: karaoke.

Background: I DON’T SING. I don’t sing in the shower. I don’t sing with my headphones in. I don’t sing in the car. I certainly don’t ever sing in front of people. I lip sync like a champ, but when it comes to putting sound with the words, I refuse.  I have always been shy. How shy you ask? So shy that in kindergarten, I couldn’t face my class (and their parents) to tell them about my favorite animal. I turned my back to the class and told my presentation partner what to say for me.

That being said, I volunteered myself to do the one thing in this world I am really afraid to do. Sing karaoke. When I made this decision, it was the first week of February. I thought about when I was going to go and what song I would sing, then put it off to take a few midterms and write some papers and when I tuned back in, it was the last week in February. I realized (in a panic) that I would need to sing soon and by soon I meant in the next couple of days. I researcher and I looked for places to go that weren’t either too seedy or too far away. I picked a date and time and my goodness, I struggled through it all. I won’t lie; I had major, major anxiety about the whole thing. I didn’t sleep the night before and I still didn’t really know what song I was going to sing still. Thursday (THE karaoke day) rolled around and it was the longest day on record. I couldn’t stop thinking about the embarrassment and the utter ridiculousness that I had volunteered myself for. I felt like I was approaching something terrible until I sat down after one of my classes that day and realized that the fear I had was consuming me and ruining my day and I was letting it happen. I was letting the fear of this event take away all my power and positivity.

That’s when I made a decision.Image

I was going to look ridiculous and sound even worse no matter what. I wasn’t going to magically have the vocal skills of Adele in the next 5 hours so I had to embrace the fear and make the conscious decision to not let it get the best of me.

Fear is something that feeds off of the ifs and the whys in your mind. Once I decided that I was going to be brave and turn the karaoke into something that would be fun and if nothing else entertaining for my friends to see I no longer was afraid.

Fast forward and I made it out alive. My friends were all there and they supported me which at the end of the day is what I value most. I sounded terrible, but I accomplished my goal and although I wouldn’t freely elect myself to karaoke again, if I had to I wouldn’t be scared.

Moral of the story: Fear can take you away from opportunities in your life. Making the decision to be brave isn’t easy, but that is the hardest part. Once you made the decision, it is smooth sailing and sweet songs after that. We are all given moments in life where we can choose to be brave and take the opportunities as they come to us or hunker down and hope that the opportunity we let pass wasn’t a big one. I am not going to miss any big opportunities and neither should you. Sing off key and out of tune if you have to but just keep singing. 

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