Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Talent

Do you have a special talent? I was watching America's Got Talent last night and acts like Carlos Aponte blew me away- tiny little guy, tiny speaking voice, huge and fantastic singing voice. As Howie Mandel told him, "Your life just changed." And it got me wondering about talent and how we use it. If you listened to my sermon a few weeks ago (click over- I've added in text), I talked about using your talents. Do you know what your talents are? Do you use them? I sing. Or used to sing. I still sing but not in the same way. As a child and teen, I was a very good singer. I'm not going to try and be humble or blow off my talent. I could sing. I was selected to sing solos in church and at school. In junior high, my choir teacher took me to Solo and Ensemble competition as an 8th grader- the only time she'd taken a soloist who wasn't a freshman. In high school, I sang in choir and at church and in a select women's group at school (shout out to Triple Trio!). In college, I really got to dig into theatre. I'd gotten a little taste in high school and my university (Xavier) had a good theatre program. I'd had some acting classes in high school, been in a couple of shows. But college was where it all came together. Emergency Room, South Pacific, Once On This Island, Our Town, and many more. I was in show choir- my big solo number one year was "I Will Survive." I graduated and went into social work and there was no time for music or theatre. I moved to Indiana and away from social work and suddenly had time to go back to the arts. I discovered community theatre and became heavily involved. Then I had kids and stopped. I discovered Music Team at church and now I sing again. I've started up the children's choir and have plans to put on a concert style show this fall (in very early planning stages right now). So now I'm back to singing again. But it isn't the same. Sometimes... I wonder if life would have been different if choices made way back when had been made differently. What if we hadn't missed the date to audition for the School for Creative and Performing Arts when my family was considering a new school option for high school for me? What if I hadn't gone into social work but had gone on a path where I could still focus on the arts as a hobby... or a passion? I still sing. I love to sing. But I feel like I'm not good. Not like I used to be. Before... it was my talent, my passion, my hobby. It was something I was really good at and got a lot of praise for. My talent, I have to admit, was this strand of confidence that I could cling to during some very dark times while growing up. See, in the midst of struggling and drowning and hiding and fighting my demons... I knew that I was still good because I could sing. I had something beautiful to offer to the world. So no matter what I was fighting in my head, my heart, on the therapist's couch... I knew that there was good inside me. I've healed from all those horrible hurts. I'm a whole and beautiful person. I don't need singing to define the good within me. Maybe that's what really changed. Now, I sing simply for the love of singing. I sing just for joy and happiness. I sing when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm angry. I just enjoy singing. I know my voice isn't as trained as it used to be. I know my knowledge of music isn't as strong as it used to be. I know my voice isn't as beautiful as it used to be. And, thankfully, I don't need it to be.
Photobucket

15 comments:

Unknown Mami said...

This post really touched me. Thank you for sharing the tale of your gift.

Seth M. Ward said...

I can turn my eye lids inside out.....

Oh, I can impersonate Antwan the Homeless Bum from In Living Color.....

YEAH YEAH YEAH YOU WANT SOME OF MY PICKLE!?!

Is being cynical a talent?

:~/

noexcuses said...

Wow! What a great post! I can't sing, never have been able to, but I fell in love with acting in my 20's.

I love your last words about singing doesn't have to define you. That pulled my heart up into my throat. Thank you for sharing this about you.

Liz

btw-when I can tear my Hubs away from Bill O'Reilly, we've been watching Talent, too!

Shell said...

Such a great post.

Maybe you are just being hard on yourself- if you had a fabulous voice before, you probably do now, too.

I'm glad that you are finding ways to sing again.

Thanks for linking up!

Mellodee said...

My history is all wrapped up in music, singing, dance, and theater. I miss it so much! Nevertheless, I am grateful to have had them as a part of my life.

Karen said...

Singing is therapeutic.

I'm actually a pretty good singer, too. I'm shy about it and feel like admitting it makes me sound conceited or something. Recently I've started to realize that isn't necessarily the case.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Singing is a gift that was meant to be shared! Actually I suppose that's true of most gifts, isn't it? I'm glad you are finding ways to share!

Found you through Shell though I've seen you here and there over the last few months. Now following! :)

Huckdoll said...

Do anything "simply for the love" and the result is usually beautiful and passionate. I've noticed that in some cases (even in something as simple as writing a blog) once the love is gone, the end result loses quality.

Lovely post.

Nancy C said...

Never too late, my friend.

The Random Blogette said...

I love singing too! I was not as good as you are, but I was definitely in the select choir. Now my singing is limited to in the car and Rock Band! It is never too late to show your talent!

Jeff said...

The car and Rock Band are my outlets now.

Brittney said...

thats amazing :) I think we do our best when we are doing what we love for simply the love of it! Keep singing girl :)

Momza said...

Talents are like virtues--
some have the talent of singing or painting, sports or teaching;
while others are very talented at showing compassion, or keeping their cool when everyone else around is losing theirs, seeing a need and acting on it--
all of us benefit when we choose to share our talents, whatever they might be.
You share yours abundantly!

RealFitMama said...

I love this post! We have been having this very conversation with out daughter Linsey who LOVES to sing. She says it is her passion and that she wants to pursue it as a profession when she gets older.

I don't push her to try out for things or perform, but she ALWAYS is trying out for musicals, talent shows and has even been asked to be in the dance company at her dance school.

I'm hoping that by letting her lead the way I'm allowing her to make the right choices for her.

Amy said...

Most people would say my talent is writing. And while I agree, it's not the talent I value most. I think my best talent is bringing people together. Making connections and making people feel valued. At least that's how I hope they feel after an encounter with me.