If I had to pick something, it would probably be my singing voice. What's funny is, I don't think many people I know have heard it. I used to sing all time time; auditioned for all sorts of things, got the parts, and thought nothing of it. In my high school, I was the only girl who made it into the All-State Choir the year I auditioned. In college, I had designs on becoming either a stage actress, or a virtuoso soloist.
I had fun entertaining friends and family with my impressions. I can still do a deadpan Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, even Billy Ocean. (Yes!) I can still hit the high F in "Pie Jesu", from Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Requiem". When I still lived in Eugene, I was part of the Eugene Concert Choir, which was great fun, and I miss it all the time. I was trained in basically everything from chamber, opera, to jazz by age 21. Then, life sort of happened, and I just slowed down until I stopped. Things didn't fit into my schedule the way they used to, and before I knew it, I was married with 2 kids, and was lucky to get an hour a week to go read the paper at the neighbourhood coffee shop.
I did a few things with my husband's band a while back, and that was great fun. But I realized it was really the only outlet he had away from us, so I let him have that for himself, and shied away from it. And... because I suck at meeting people and cultivating friendships, I haven't been able to really find that for myself. That said, he has... apparently... recruited me again, and we have started doing a few things with a slightly different variation on the same theme recently. So, in not too terribly long, I'll have a few things for everyone to listen to. They aren't ready yet, but I will be sure to let you know when they are!
Be warned though. They aren't really work-safe, kid-safe, or... easily-offended-safe.
One thing that made me realize I've still got it happened last summer, while driving with the windows down. I was singing along with Stevie Wonder... fairly loudly, because that's what I do in the car when there is no one to talk to, a teenage girl in the crosswalk actually stopped to tell me she thought I had a killer voice.
Ha! That made my day!
I was slightly embarrassed, but at least I wasn't offending anyone, right? That's one nice thing about certain social mores. They let you get away with things that would paint a person as slightly touched, in any other setting. For instance, if I belted out with a few lines of "Ordinary Pain" just walking down SE Division, I'm sure I'd get some strange looks.
But in the car? Totally golden. Yes.
To this day, if I have to go into some sort of musical institution; especially one with practice rooms, and I can hear people doing their thing, it just feels like going home. My husband's band practices here every Sunday afternoon, and I love being surrounded by the music. It's not necessarily a style I would sing myself, but it's still music. They are having a good time, and I can feel it through the floor! And it's just another small way to hearken the past, even if it's not happening for me directly.
There is something about music that we all need in our lives. I don't understand how some people can go a day without it. I can be in the worst mood, and during the times when I choose to sing something, or listen to something really beautiful that my mind instantly tunes into and connects with, I can usually bring myself out of it. There is just something about it that improves the way I see everything.
And I know I'm not the only one.
There is something about music that just seems to unite people. It's a far deeper level of connection than just talking. I think it's because when your voice is your instrument, it's something so personal; so intrinsically you. It's something that sets you apart from everyone else... in the most complimentary way. It's one instance in which it's OK to be different, and different can even be celebrated.
There are times when I really miss being part of something like this, and there are times, especially lately, when I feel like I don't deserve the attention. That's a pretty tough dichotomy, but it's one that I'm trying to break.