Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf
“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Here's the deal. I sing with a trio--we take our little act and go to retirement communities and sing for folks who can't get out any more. Music makes them happy. Music makes me happy. I've been singing since I could talk. When the shouting between my parents became unbearable, I'd go to my room, close the door, sit on the floor and play my 45's, singing along with Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Crystal Gayle, The Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Elvis, and so much more.
But I'm not a professional singer. Never wanted to be. Never intended to be. That means sometimes I go off key. Sometimes my voice cracks. The audience doesn't seem to care. They love us. Keep asking us to come back. While I'm singing, I'm ecstatic. It's when I watch the video we've asked my hubby to make, to use as a learning tool, where my problem starts. I only see what's wrong with my performance, not what's right.
So I have to ask myself, what are my expectations regarding singing? In the deep, dark recesses of my mind, am I expecting to be discovered and become another Susan Boyle? Truth is, there is a little girl inside who is craving that kind of attention. She wants to be praised and adored and told how wonderful she is. But the adult me knows better.
My former teacher told me I didn't belong in the group I was in. Perhaps she was right. She wanted a professional group. And that's definitely not me. I need to keep honing my craft, taking lessons, improving my technique. But an old slogan, Progress, not Perfection, is what I need to remember. And like the character in "Some Like it Hot" said at the end of the movie, "Nobody's perfect."
The same goes for my writing. I've been avoiding the attempt to write fiction because I've never done it. My expectation is that I should be able to do it very well or I shouldn't do it at all. Nope. Not gonna happen if that's the way I'm thinking. Instead, I'm telling myself I just need to try. Have fun with it. Even if it's terrible, the experience of writing it will be well worth it.
So how about you? Are your expectations of yourself realistic? How do your expectations get you in trouble?