I mentioned earlier in my blog that I have decided to compete in a singing contest…well, finals are this coming Thursday night. I’ve chosen 2 songs that I know and can do well (ok, in my sleep). As I’m sure I’ve become “famous” for… “let’s back up”… to the night of the semi-finals…
I kept this contest kind of “hush-hush” from people at work. I didn’t want the monster to show up out of spite. (he would). I still wanted to keep it under wraps, but I had to ask the assistant manager for help, so I could get out asap. The assistant manager that I closed with that same night, fixed it so I could get off work a little early, and be on time for the contest. When I made it to the finals, I wanted him to know so he knew that his efforts paid off..even just a little bit. Next thing I knew, EVERYONE at work was congratulating me for making it that far! The manager who opened the store the next morning heard about it from the first one. He asked if I wondered why everyone was congratulating me. I said “yeah, why is that?” He said he went around the store, including the corporate offices, and asked them to. He said, “I know what it’s like to do something that makes you proud, and the only congratulations you get are coming back from the mirror”. So sweet! However, very nerve wracking! By the end of the day, everyone…and I do mean EVERYONE knew about it…every store in the area…including my X.
Finals are coming up. I’m confident in my song choices. There are a few people coming from my own store, to see the performances, and to root me on (it’s a have-to kind of thing, and maybe based in a little curiosity). I’m nervous about that since I’ve never sang in front of any of them before. I feel like I have to prove myself to them, still. Silly.
The closer the competition gets, the more scenarios are running through my head. They are not real. I realize this. They are nothing but dreamed up from the deepest recesses of my psyche. My fear of the beast. The common thread? “How will I handle things”?
The first scenario.
I get off work a little later than I wanted to and show up at the contest, a little disheveled, disorganized, and nervous. I walk into the area where they are holding the contest and see the other 6 contestants…and a monster, sitting with everyone else from work. I’m instantly angry…just before I’m called up to perform.
I take the cordless microphone from the host of the competition and glare at the beast, sitting there with a snide smirk…staring me down…trying to shake me… I then point him out to the staff and tell them “I deserve to have him watch me and smear all of this in his face, but HE doesn’t deserve to be here watching ME…please escort him out”. 1) the bouncers remove his evil hide from the room, with him yelling all the way out the door. Or: 2) The bouncers (or staff members) don’t see any need, and allow him to stay anyway…while he REALLY tries to shake me to my core, glaring at me the entire time… (I have enough trouble with stage fright)
The second scenario..
I show up on time (by whichever or whomever’s good graces) due to getting out of work early. I’m able to relax with my friends and people from work for a while. A little while later, I look over toward the entrance and see my X walk in with his girlfriend… I’m 1) confident and empowered by his presence…not because of any good he’s ever done, but because I finally get to give him the final “fuck you” to his face. I sing the songs I know so well, with more power and emotion than ever, and there-by completing my purpose for choosing to compete in this one again. Or: 2) I’m instantly shaken, unable to overcome my immediate anxiety. My singing is (again) weak like a child’s, and he’ll be able to rub THIS in my face…however indirectly…as is his M.O. of late. I’ll have to concentrate on the faces of my friends and family’s so as to avoid his piercing gaze. One of the scoring factors is stage presence. If I’m unable to engage the rest of the audience, this score will be a very low one. I’m in this to do my absolute best. Not to do a repeat of the last attempt.
His favorite game is “tit-for-tat”. He’s highly retaliatory and ruthless in his attempts. His greatest goal right now, as it concerns his hatred of me is to hurt me in whatever way he can. Knowing him, he knows my love for music. He knows how it’s been my driving strength throughout my life. He knows he scarred it before… He might attempt to do this again, out of spite.
I can hear my own advice to others echoing in my mind… “9 times out of 10, we worry about things that haven’t happened yet”…”We expend much-needed energy on ‘what-ifs’ and ‘maybe’s’…” Yep, I hear it loud and clear, but still…I know him. He (much to my detriment) knows me too…my greatest weaknesses…my fear that I’ve been battling since running from him almost a year ago. I can’t help but wonder how I will handle it. I don’t want to fall back into the jelly-fish that I hate so much. I don’t want to give him ANY strength over me. I’m just not over anything completely, and my strength, though is definitely better, it’s still shaken easily. Scared? Yea…very. Scared of singing? Not at ALL! Stage fright is there, but so is confidence. I shake like a leaf, but can still sing.
One of the songs I’ve chosen is one that my dad requested for his funeral. It was an honor…what an understatement. No one knew he would die. He and my Mom just so happened to discuss his wishes, 2 weeks prior to his death. The timing was really strange. As if there was someone setting things into motion. He told my mom that he wanted a song that I sang on CD…one that they paid for, for me to do. He didn’t like the original artist’s rendition…only mine. And that’s the one he wanted for his funeral. It’s also the one I’m doing for finals. It’s taken me 2 years to be able to sing it again, without completely losing it. My mom will be at the contest, too. This will be the first time she’s heard it since my dad’s funeral. It needs to be perfect, for the both of us. For my Dad.
I can’t allow a psychopath/vampire/predator to take this one. He’s the one who’s dead inside. Not me. Peace and strength need to be my guiding force during the competition, no matter WHAT happens or WHO is there. I just have to find a way to allow it to be.
“Breathe in…Breathe out…”
- Fighting Stage Fright (eigenheimorchestra.wordpress.com)
- TV: Nine-year-old singer bursts into tears in Britain’s Got Talent audition (walesonline.co.uk)
- Love is a song (motleymayhem.wordpress.com)
- 6 Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright (actlikeyoumeanbusiness.wordpress.com)
Hmmm.. It’s not by accident that I found this story about wonderful Malaki Paul (Britains’ Got Talent 2012). Listen to him struggle at first…then come back with such a strength! Listen to his song… Very encouraging. 😀 Absolutely wonderful talent in this young boy!!