Early Saturday morning, I was like a robot.
[…] Wake up early.
[…] Take medicine.
[…] Get dressed.
[…] Wrap feet, head, neck, hands in down-filled winter gear.
[…] Boots on, out door, lock door, headphones in, descend steps, start day.
And as my day started with a list clearly defined in black and white, I stepped out to the road- black coat, white snow. And amidst the colorlessness, a little girl walked ahead of me. Bright blue pants tucked into boots, hot pink coat, and a wildly colored, striped pom-pom hat.
It wasn’t her choice of colorful attire that caught my eye, it was the little dance moves she put in her step. It was her young voice singing when she thought she was walking the streets of Tallinn alone. She paused, turned with a slight smile, and her gloved hands drew something in the snow.
When I passed it, I couldn’t help but smile too.
As I continued to walk behind this little girl, I realized that she was being anything BUT robotic or expected. She was being 100 percent true to herself. This girl was like sunshine- exploring all the beauty of her mood, her voice, her steps, and her snowy environment. She woke up happy and carefree, and that continued to radiate from her as she was only doing the simple task of walking along a well-worn street.
I had a bit of a panic attack this week. I am doing something that most would think is CRAZY, but I know it is the true me. A little over a week ago, I drove two hours to Tartu, Estonia and stood in line to audition for a nation-wide, televised singing competition. The night before going, I almost backed out from shame.
As I stood in a line after being asked to shout things for the camera; being pushed and shoved to get my singing number, I looked around and I was the oldest person in the room. The girl who registered next to me was a young, bright 17 years old. I almost turned around to return home right there.
Yes. I am 36 years old. Yes. I am trying something crazy. Yes. I’m scared as all get-out. And, as I stayed up late one night watching previous years’ auditions on YouTube, I suddenly didn’t feel good enough.
As I confessed this to Nick, he looked at me and spoke with sternness.
“You are a singer. You have a voice that is powerful. Nothing – not people’s opinions; not this singing competition- changes that."
And his voice reminded me of something I had heard a little over a year ago.
After finishing my music degree, and then moving to Armenia, I was pretty silent for nearly a decade. You can read more of that story
Nick bought me a piano that gathered dust. I only sang a few times a month. I didn’t enjoy music any more. But things changed when I moved to Estonia – a country known for its love of music and its singing revolution against the Soviet empire. Suddenly, I joined the masses of Estonians, with headphones in ear/ iphone in pocket, as I walked around Tallinn’s city center. Music started to enter my life and fill in the dry cracks – little by little.
One day I was listening to a song and admiring the singer’s voice, and I thought to myself, “I wish I could sing like that…”
And, once again, I felt like God stopped me in my tracks and, like Nick, sternly spoke with me.
“What? I made you a singer. That is what I created you for.”
I knew it was truth. I know it was a dream that I gave up on because of life circumstances or even the feeling that singing for people’s enjoyment was such a vain profession.
Perhaps at 36 years of age, I rediscovered that same freedom the little girl displayed last Saturday morning. To some, I may seem foolish. To others, I may not fit into the expected mold as a middle-aged mother of two. But, I am a singer. That is what makes me draw happy faces in the snow.
Be who you were created to be. Reawaken a dream that has remained hidden. Experience the true freedom that occurs when you step out of the black and white.
This coming Thursday, as I am surrounded by TV cameras and sing for the second round of judges - I pray that amidst any self-doubt or nervousness, I will remember the truth of who I am. Perhaps you'll even see a pure, child-like smile cross my face. It's always been a part of me. It was there when I sang, unnoticed and all alone, as a little girl and it is with me now. That part of me is unchangeable. God made me a singer.
What did He make you?