Wednesday, June 30, 2010
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.
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