I am not a mouse
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Today I did something that if you had told me a year ago I would be doing, I would have laughed in your face. I stood on a stage with the guys from my music group and I sang a song. It may have been a village hall coffee morning but it was still a stage with a microphone and kind of scary! I don't sing in the car with other people there. I am ignoring the people in other cars that can actually hear me when I sing at the top of my voice from within the safety of my car. (Oh they can't really hear me can they?) I play the ukulele. A smallish, quiet-ish stringed instrument. I used to play it so quietly that they didn't think I was playing. I then gradually progressed from mouse volume to audible to humans volume. I bought an amp. I then bought a bigger 'I mean business' kickass amp but I kept it turned down low. The first time I played it turned up with the other guys and their loud electric guitars my mind went 'OMG what is that sound? Ohhhhhhhhh that's me. I can hear myself!!! Someone turn it down quick!
It took a few weeks to get used to hearing myself instead of hiding and lots of 'Sarah turn it up louder' encouragement from the music group guys. A similar thing happened with singing. I started at mouse volume, then a little louder. Then one week when there weren't many people there, we had to sing and there was a microphone. That was it, I was out in the open. I could not be a mouse or hide any longer. Having then claimed that song, I didn't want to let it go. A little voice in me wanted to SING! Laaaaaaaa What I realised when I reflected on my mouse to stage progress, was that I used to be so scared of making a mistake that I would be quiet. I didn't want to get it wrong! I'd have sweaty hands and wobbly knees at the prospect of being heard and making a mistake. The pressure of trying to be perfect! It was watching the others fearlessly giving it their all that made me feel brave enough to give it a go. Nobody laughed, nobody looked shocked, everyone just carried on as normal. We all encouraged each other on that stage today. We were a team.
It's not about being perfect. I wasn't auditioning for X Factor! It's about listening to that voice inside that says I enjoy playing with these guys and I want to sing. It's about having the courage to get out there and give it a go. What others think when they are listening is up to them. What matters is that we had a good time, we encouraged each other and we did what makes us happy. What ever it is that your little inner voice would secretly like to do, get out there and do it!