Remember back in the Star Party report when I told you I looked at those stars and wondered how I would ever find the right words to convey how amazing they were? Well, as I've experienced the Torch Singer 101 class and performance, words have been hard to come by as well, but for different reasons. And so far, I haven't been able to even put those reasons into words, let alone describe the experience.
So here is my best try. . .
Those of you waiting for a report about the performance will have to ask someone who was there. I can't objectively report on my own performance, but I will tell you that I was enormously proud of everyone in my class. And video clips are never the same as a live performance, so I have not watched any of them that were shared with me, nor do I intend to. I do know that I did the best I could do, and I lived to tell about it.
It's no secret that the Torch Singer class was the most challenging thing I've taken on in a very, very long time. While some of you are rolling your eyes and no doubt think that's an exaggeration, some of you who have patiently responded to text after anxious text for months, asked me hard questions about why Torch Singer was even on my Brave Project list, or wondered out loud to me what it means to succeed or fail at a challenge such as a public singing performance . . . you know.
Even though singing is not your thing, and never has been, you fully supported this challenge from the start. You sat across from me when my heart was pounding and I couldn't breathe as the performance date approached and assured me everything would be okay. You mailed off a package that would arrive for me to open after the performance that was full of congratulations and affirmation so I'd know you believed all would be well even after the show. You shut the door to the conference room, or circled up after Refit class, and prayed for me. You had dinner with me the night of the show to help keep my mind off the upcoming performance.
You raced off to get me a glass of ice water after you watched me sing the opening number with the group looking like a scared statue, knowing my solo performance was up first. You sent me encouraging texts and Facebook messages and blog comments. You told me which dress and shoes looked best. You loaned me jewelry. You drove to Lincoln from all over everywhere for the show. You fit the performance into a busy night when your beloved Royals were playing a make-up game to win the pennant. You insisted you couldn't even tell that sweat was dripping off me so profusely my dress got a whole extra set of polka dots. You didn't post video of the performance to Youtube. You helped me find Beyond and Sea, and told me that Fly Me To the Moon is one of your favorite songs.
And I love you for that.
Or you said as little about it as possible because you knew how worried I was about performing. You didn't come to the show because you thought it would be less stressful to me to have less people there. You skipped over the whole experience.
And I love you for that too.
Because it turns out that while Torch Singer 101 was about having an audience for a few of the students, or for living out a bucket list dream, or creating your own fairy tale for others, for me it was about facing fear. And finding my voice again. Even if it was not the one I expected. And accepting that things change. And taking risks. And working through insecurities in very public ways. And very private ways.
And letting you help me.
So thank you. For everything mentioned above. And thanks...
- to the 7 of you who taught me - Jackie Allen and my fellow students in the Torch Singer Class.
- to the 37 of you who came to the performance to support me.
- to Kevin, who sent roses, told me I was beautiful and was patient with my insecurity as always.
- to Olivia, who texted me from her first parent teacher conferences as a student teacher reminding me she was there in spirit.
- to Eric, who not only chipped in with his sister to send flowers, but also sent two texts in one day that had multiple words in each one. Including: YOU DID SO WELL. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!
It turns out that the Torch Singer experience wasn't about singing. It was about learning. And growing. And courage.
And, most of all, love.
Thanks to Jena Nicole Lambert for shooting the show for us, and sharing her photos.