I was five. I remember it vividly. I was running around careless, like a butterfly, colorful and full of hope. I was going to be a singer, on stage, with a microphone in one hand, and the world in the other. That was the dream. I’ve always sang; with my dad, in front of church, in chorus, at Karaoke bars, then with my boyfriend’s band.
It’s only now that I can honestly say that I finally do NOT want to be a singer when I grow up. When I sing, it’s other peoples’ words. The audience either loves it (because they love the song, not necessarily my voice), or they ignore the performance altogether. It’s taken 32 years to come to terms with the fact that what I really want to be is heard. I want me to be heard; my thoughts, not my interpretations.
I’m not knocking singers, cover bands, Karaoke champions, or musical celebrities. I will always love to sing. The weird thing is, that dating a singer, who is also a songwriter, has changed my perspective. The truth is that I have a very deep and intimate need to reach people, not through entertainment, but through the pure and simple ‘relating’ with others, that’s both human and natural.
How many times have you been broken-hearted and looked for a movie on TV or redbox where the primary character was also broken-hearted? When you’re happy, do you want to be around people that are depressed or angry? Do you want to hear the blues? We have needs, as humans, to connect with others.
Of course, the more we connect, the less lonely we feel. That’s because we were not intended to walk the earth alone. It’s just not in our DNA. Look at Chris McCandless (Into the Wild).
And here’s the really ironic part…it took me dating a vocalist/ songwriter to make me understand that I don’t have to be on stage to express myself, nor do I have to sing to get attention. Sometimes just wearing my insides on the outside does that.
We all have a purpose in this existence. So, I figure, when I grow up I just want to be me. To everyone. If by expressing myself or relating to others, helps them, then my job here is done. And the best thing about that is that my job is never done, because ‘relating’ is a full-time gig. And above all, it is fully rewarding.