June 9, 2012


Posted by meli on Saturday, June 09, 2012 in , , , , , | 2 comments
I love to sing. Love it a lot. Since I was a little girl singing into my hairbrush, so sure I was going to become the next Madonna, or at the very least be part of The Bangles. And either Sebastian Bach ( of skid row) or Steven Tyler (of areosmith) was going to be my husband. We'd make sweet sweet music together! Hubba Hubba

Singing has always been a part of me.

That is until one day in high school. My friends and I were getting ready for a little party we were throwing. The music was on, the food being made, breakables were being moved up, and we were signing. Some fun little muppets beach party cd (it was one of our favorites! yes, in high school!) I was just belting away to sugar shack when one of my friends said to me "you can't carry a tune, and you're way off key". I laughed it off, but inside... it crushed me.

I don't think she meant to be crushing, of course. And I certainly don't think she intended for that one moment to shift my life so completely. But, it did. I stopped singing after that. Not just during our pre-party prep ... I stopped singing completely. Even when by myself.

It took me a while to get comfortable enough to sing alone again. Even when my Mom was gone, our doors were closed and locked, window shades drawn, and I was alone in my room ... it took a while to step out of the fear. I sat there quiet and awkward. Started to write poetry instead; you know ... stay quiet and put it on paper. But eventually I missed singing so much that I slowly walked back toward it. I first started humming, and then mumbling along to lyrics. I was quiet and reserved, but I gradually became more brave. I even started singing in the car again; but the windows stayed UP!

I didn't get the same high from it that I used to, and I was lonely, too. I missed singing with people. Not enough to put myself back out there; not even close. I wouldn't even sing in front of my husband.

Then we started having babies, and Oh Em Gee did I ever love singing to them (when Nick was't around). No matter what I was saying to them, I think I put it to song. Nursing, rocking, playing, cleaning, eating, book reading ... everything was a song. We lived our lives as a musical, lol. When they got older and started singing back with me ... oh holy hell was I in heaven! I made myself believe that was enough for me for a long, long, long time. When Nick wasn't around, the kids and I would crank the music and scream sing our hearts out! When Nick was around, the kids would still scream sing, and I would quietly mouth lyrics under my breath. No, it wasn't great... but it was certainly better then my years of musical celibacy. I told myself that was good enough.

But, good enough never does last, does it? These past couple of years I have really stretched myself. Pushed myself. Questioned myself. I'm not ok settling. If I'm lucky enough to live to the ripe ol' age of 117; I'll still only be on this planet for such short amount of time ... I'm determined to give it every thing I've got. I'm a work in progress with this empowering philosophy, mind you, but it's one I'm working on every.single.day. So, this no singing in front of other people thing eventually started to bother me. A lot.

Lets face it. The Bangles never did call me to join their band, I was certainly not going to become the next Madonna, and I don't know where the hell Sebastian and/or Steven are, because they're not at my house! Truth is, I may LOVE to sing, but I really am not very good at it. And the louder I sing, the more I sound like a dying frog. But so what. I LOVE to do it!

I started singing a little louder then "just under my breath" while around other people. It was/is still pretty quiet and meek, and probably inaudible over a blaring radio. I tell myself that I'm working to get louder and louder over time... and while that's true; I've found I'm not pushing myself the way I want to. This "louder and louder over time" business has given me the great excused loophole of letting it take forever ... as long as I can say "well, I was a smidge louder there in the middle; success", then I'm doing what I set out to do, right?

That's not cutting it for me anymore.

I made a video about 7 months ago. I obviously wasn't as far down this self discovery journey as I am now, so I wasn't belting anything out, but it's me ... singing. I was terrified to do it. To record myself singing. Why? I was all alone. Just me and my computer. No one ever needed to see the video if I didn't want them too. But I was still overcome with fear. Fear is intense, yo. When I was young I would record myself all the time without an ounce of fear, and yet here, all alone, I was terrified. I felt the need to have the song playing super loud; to drown me out some. But when I listened to the play back I could still hear way too much of me. I hated it. I was never going to play it for anyone. I was ashamed and embarrassed and couldn't bare to hear any judgement. But the funny thing is as soon as I berated myself enough to never want to make it public ... I sort of started loving it. I was safe and comforted in the determination that NOONE would EVER see/hear it, so now I was free to enjoy it. I felt happy, and alive, and like ME when I listened to it. I moved it over into a private folder on my computer, and I saved it ... just for me. It's not great. Turns out I can't carry a tune, and I'm always way off key ... haaa. I don't care. I don't care what I sound like ... I friggin LOVE to sing!

I've come a long, long way in these past 7 months. I like me. I'm no longer ashamed or embarrassed or unable to bare judgement regarding this video ... so, here it is! The sound of it may not have people lining up to pay me for gigs, but the fact that I did it is a big pile of awesome in my book. Perhaps it'll inspire me to make another one. A bolder one. A top of my lungs, sounds like a drowning cat one ... or maybe it'll nudge me up onto a karaoke stage when I'm not drunk ;-)

And PS ... this video; holy shit do I ever miss my dreads right now!!!
And also, the seborrheic dermatitis (or whatever the hell it is) on my face doesn't look bad at all in this video. I miss it not looking bad :-/


  1. Oh no! If I was the friend that crushed you, I'm so sorry! I have such great memories of us singing along to the Muppets or whatever else might be on the radio at the moment. I'm glad you're singing again.

    1. It wasn't you :-)

      The kids and I were just jamming to "Buggin" from the Space Jam soundtrack. Totally made me think of you and our night time cruising <3