A couple of months ago, we lost our dear old Ellie. Ellie (Elspeth) was an almost 17 year old Louchen. She was loyal, friendly, gentle, grey woolly mess and we loved her like a child. She slept on my feet every night, she sat beside me through illness and sadness - I can hardly remember being without her. Her name was among our kids' first words, she slept beside their bassinettes and followed their first steps with gentle motherly concern.
So when she left us, I was a complete and utter mess. (Ten weeks later, I'm still a bit of a mess - still looking for her in the morning, forgetting she's gone. Had to change my curtains in the front hall because it made me too sad to see them still instead of rustling with her delight at my arrival home)
Anyway, that particular week I was a real can't-go-to-work, can't-stop-crying, can't-sleep kind of mess. Such a mess, in fact, that I was convinced to audition for a local show. My sister-in-law talked me into it, "just to get you out of the house - c'mon, it'll be fun!" I went along with her imagining (as did she) that we'd just be asked to learn a dance and perform it as part of a small group. Again, probably too much Smash.
When we got there, we realised we were a little bit out of our depth. Not only did we have to do a dance, but we had to do it alone, on a stage, under a spotlight while singing. The other people had been to rehearsals. I had not. And... I felt stupid when I stopped to think about it - I was auditioning for the CHORUS, of course they wanted to hear me sing. Aloud. Alone. In public. Something other than the national anthem.
I considered walking straight out. I joked that we could go to McCafe for cappuccinos and just tell our families that we auditioned... I think I had SIL almost in agreement... but then I thought about what I would tell my daughter if she was in the same situation and feeling doubt.
Who cares if they hear you sing? Who cares that you're gonna stuff it up? Who cares that it's you, all alone in the spotlight, singing and dancing for strangers? When will you ever get this opportunity again? Just do your best, pat yourself on the back for your bravery and walk away with your head held high.
So I did. It was terrifying. It was terrible. It was just what I needed to feel a little bit alive.
Last Friday night I went to see the show - it was absolutely amazing. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the feeling of having dodged a bullet. What if I had got in?! I would have looked ridiculous in the chorus, and my voice would certainly not have complemented the rest of the cast. I was so glad not to have been the liability on that stage on Friday night! But I was proud of myself for taking the plunge.
So that's something I can cross off my list: Audition for a stage show. Hmm... what shall I do next?