Of all the choices I’ve made in my life, I have but one regret. I never sang.
I mean, anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me knows that I know the lyrics to many songs across many genres of music and am likely to sing along or burst into song at any moment, but I have never pursued it as a hobby or anything more.
I sing in the shower, in the car, at the gym, in the kitchen while I cook, but I can only count on one hand the number of times I have actually done karaoke/gotten up on a stage to sing.
I wish I would have done choir in high school or taken voice lessons or a musical theater class at some point; pursued this passion in any capacity.
I remember in junior high, a friend of mine loved my voice so much she asked me to sing for her one day at lunch on the playground. I had my Walkman with my Amy Grant tape, put my headphones in, closed my eyes and sang along. When I opened them, there were a couple of other kids gathered and some of them started making fun of me.
When American Idol first came out, I remember thinking “I could probably make it through the first round of cuts.” And even said so to my boyfriend at the time. He scoffed at me and told me there was no way.
Outside of those two incidents, countless others have told me I can actually sing. One friend even morbidly requested I sing at her funeral when she dies.
Regardless of how many times I hear it or who I hear it from, the fear I have of not being good, messing up, embarrassing myself, having people criticize me if I put it out into the world, has kept me from doing so. I’ve had no formal training and the story I tell myself about many areas of my life, “I’m not qualified”, continues to plague my thoughts and stall my actions.
Recently I decided I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines and seeing other people go out and share their passions with the world. For the first time, I joined a friend of mine for a couple of hours at his house and we just sang songs and played around with different arrangements.
I was terrified when I got there, but left feeling energized and excited about doing it again. For the first time it felt like doing something like this for real was actually a possibility. I could see myself with a microphone in my hand singing along during an acoustic set at a small restaurant or bar.
And it’s not too late. My life isn’t over. There’s still plenty of time to make the choice and take action. To have this be a regret no more. Maybe, just maybe, I will.