I never wanted to be a singer. I think I’ve always understood that my voice was not for singing and I wasn’t meant to be in a rock band. I was never the kid who stood in front of the mirror with her hairbrush, an audience of stuffed teddy bears watching from behind. True, there was the time in 7th grade when I tried out for the HMS Pinafore. My ill-conceived attempt to ‘find’ my talents… everyone else wanted to sing or act, why didn’t I? I ended up landing the role of a sailor in the chorus. Being cast as a man pretty much confirmed that a life on the stage was not for me.
Searching for the what makes me special, the list fell short. No special skills as a musician. My fleeting success as a saxophonist only inspired by frustrating Adam. There was no passion and how far can you get on sheer spite? It was also quite obvious I was no artist. On my best day, I only aimed for people to accurately name what I had drawn, visions of beauty not a part of the equation. And so the key to my destiny was still left unknown.
Lately, I’ve started thinking I’ve got a clue of the answer. I get compliments on my writing and I’m wondering if that’s the key. I know people say nice things just to make you feel good but these seem sincere. I mean, no one goes out of their way to tell me I’m really great at mowing the lawn or that I’m amazingly skilled at loading the dishwasher. Never. But they make a point to mention my blog posts and their kind words really mean something. They fill me up.
I had assumed that people reading my blog knew me and they did it out of a sense of obligation. Like they were afraid I’d bring it up over dinner sometime and they’d have to awkwardly answer ‘no, i actually never read it’. They’d feel bad, like they’d let me down and so they stopped by from time to time, grazing over the titles to get a gist just in case it came up. At least that’s how I’d pictured it before. But then random people would comment on my blog or send me a note that they liked to read it. It changed everything in my mind. I realized that I liked people out there reading my words.
Lately, I’ve been picturing myself writing something more than just blog posts. A magazine article, a book. Someone sipping their iced tea in a lawn chair, reading the story I put together. They’d read my words, nodding their head in agreement to a point I’d made or laughing at something witty I wrote. Maybe someone checked it out of the library or they’re reading it quietly in a Schuller’s book store, too cheap to actually buy it (that’s ok, they’re still reading it). I think that picture looks pretty damn swell to me.
Me, an author. I like how that sounds. A part of me that I give to the world and they can choose to accept it or not. But as the words leave my mouth, I feel the fear in my heart. What if I’m not good enough? What if I’m only kidding myself? Like the karaoke singers at the bar that make everyone wince in pain when they sing Celine Dion or Christina Aguilera. How do they not realize that their musical talent only extends itself to an easy Ace of Base song? I don’t want to lie to myself. What if I’m really only good enough for the random blog post and there’s simply not enough special sauce in me to write an entire book?
I don’t know. Maybe there’s not. Maybe I’ll write something and it’ll never get published. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life getting rejection letters. There’s a lot of maybes. Still, I think I’d rather my fruits fall to the ground than to let them rot on the tree.