Practicing guitar. My happy place.
You know those people who say “I knew I wanted to be _____ since I could walk” or “I was singing before I was talking” or “I’ve been playing guitar since I was six”. You know…those people. You may be one of those people. I must admit, part of me is envious. I wish I had started playing guitar when I was in elementary school. Wish I hadn’t quit taking lessons when I was fourteen. Wish I had kept up with it and could be smack dab in the middle of my biggest dreams.
But I can’t say that.
I gave up on many activities as a kid. I was always more of a free spirit. Passionately unsettled. Okay, and a bit stubborn. I always had a hard time doing what was assigned. I wanted to read the books I wanted to read. I wanted to practice if and when I wanted to practice, so taking lessons when I HAD to practice weekly was tough. I didn’t want it then like I want it now. I didn’t love it then like I do now.
I have to remind myself that it’s okay. When I was a little one, I wanted to be an actress. I even kept a list of talent agencies in the area. That faded over time. But music? I always had a desire for music. I wished, more than anything, that I could sing when I was younger. I prayed that I would be given the talent of singing. Despite being in chorus in elementary school, I never thought I could really sing.
Flash forward to when I was twelve and in the church Christmas pageant. I acted in it that year and the following year, joined the choir. It was intense! The church that put on the program was very serious about it. I was in middle school but had three hour rehearsals, weekly, for a few months. I sang a lot that year. It seemed I found my voice in that time. I realized that I could sing.
The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school I attended summer camp and we did a musical. I sang for the audition, not expecting much, but I got one of the lead roles. It was an all-girls camp, so I ended up playing Albert in “Bye, Bye Birdie”. I didn’t care that I played a guy. I had a solo! It was a big moment for me. Another stepping stone.
When I was seventeen I started voice lessons, was encouraged that it wasn’t all in my head, that I really could sing, and performed “Fever” for an audience(including my mom and a few of my closest friends). That was one the top ten most important nights of my life.
The summer of 2007 I sang in a worship band and the following summer I helped lead worship for the missions trip I was on in Italy.
These pieces of the puzzle continued to be put together. It took time. I had a lot of fear and anxiety performing before I even got on the stage. But once the music started? I felt like I was home.
It wasn’t until this year, however, that it really hit me that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My passion, desire and dreams have become bigger than the fear. I’ve had many hobbies in my life that have gone as quickly as they arrived, but my desire for music keeps returning and I’ve finally realized that I cannot give up on it.
I can’t wait to share videos, songs and my growth in this pursuit. I’ve been hesitant with videos, because singing along to an instrumental track is only so interesting and I’m incredibly hard on myself. As I get comfortable with playing songs on my guitar, I will start sharing those with you.
I can sit and wish that I was already great at guitar. I can wish I had a voice like this singer, or that one. I can keep wishing that I could be diving into my writing more and playing already, performing weekly open mic nights, but it’ll take time for that. I’m writing, I’m practicing, I’m singing and for now, that’s great. I’m trying to do what I can right now, where I am. Working on my voice, working on guitar and putting that energy spent wishing and hoping into my own story.
Everyone has a different journey on the way to fulfilling their biggest dreams and this is just the start of mine.