What’s one thing you used to do in your childhood that you tell yourself in adulthood you can’t do?
Paint beautiful pictures?
Write imaginative stories?
Dance like a maniac?
For me, it was anything musical. I’ve always loved singing, and I’m always quick to pick up a tune; but somewhere along the way, I got the message that I couldn’t sing well enough, I couldn’t read music, and rhythm and music was not a genetic trait in our family.
So I joined a choir, aged 52.
This Wednesday night, a cold, wintry, rainy evening that rightly should have been spent curled up on the couch, with a ‘blanky’ and the cat, watching Netflix, (I know - enlightening…), I ventured into an arrondissement I’ve never been before, across the other side of Paris, and stood in a circle with 10 other slightly odd-ball people I’ve never met, filled my lungs and sang!
Apparently, I’m some way between an alto and a soprano.
And I can read music.
The thing I am most amazed at is, in looking at sheet music with fresh, curious, adult eyes, how it tells a story that transcends culture and language with a bunch of universally-understood squiggles. I wish reading music had been presented to me in this way as a child. I might not have spent 45 years not doing something that makes me feel good.
Sure - it took some courage to venture out to the 19th, on a cold night, with complete strangers, to do something I thought I couldn’t do, and I remember enjoying - but it was so worth it! And let’s face it - I wasn’t climbing Mt Everest! It was everyday courage, and we all have that.
I absolutely CAN sing, and yet all these years, I haven’t done something I simply feel good doing because I had a story attached to it.