To save you the trouble of scrolling, #23 on my list is karaoke. It may seem like a silly thing to include on a list like this, so please, allow me to explain.
When I was younger, I LOVED to sing, and I didn't care who heard. I belted it out anytime I could. My stuffed animals were subjected to many concerts, and there was always generous applause. In 8th grade, I was in choir, and even then I did a solo in front of the whole school.
My freshman year of college, I lived in the dorms two doors down from the wonderful Sarah. She also loved (loves?) to sing. Whenever we needed to blow off a little steam, or just be really obnoxious, we'd crank some Alanis Morissette or Sarah McLachlan or RENT (It was '97, people) and lay on the floor and sing at the top of our lungs to the captive audience of our waffle shaped ceilings. The ladies on our floor LOVED it.
When I made the decision to leave that school, Sarah and I were both sad because we'd formed one of those friendships where you knew that it would be forever, but being at different schools was going to make our lives a lot harder. Somehow, we hadn't managed to make any other friends there. This is ridiculous, especially if you know how fabulous we both are. Anyway, before I left, we decided to get really drunk and make ourselves a little mix tape to remind us of the good times. We called it "Singing to the Waffle".
That was 10 years ago. We've stayed very close, despite living far apart, and for my birthday, she burned me cds of that same mix. It cracks me up, but it was a great gift. I threw the cd in while I was home alone and taking a shower the other day (there is no way to write that without it sounding weirdly dirty in my head) and realized that I still really love belting out those songs to no one in particular.
At some point in the last 10 years, I'd forgotten that I loved to sing. I started hating my voice, because I believe that I sound like a child when I speak, and in many of my jobs to date, that has hindered my ability to advance. (Male dominated industries do not really like the idea of dealing with 10 year olds. Jerks.)
In a mere six weeks, I will be working with children full time. The odds of me having to sing in front of them is 100%. And if I hate my voice, I'm only hurting myself. So I need to reclaim that part of me that knows I'll never have the powerful voice of the people I love to listen to, but that doesn't mean I don't have a voice.
So on Saturday night, I'm doing some karaoke with my friend Jean who LOVES her some karaoke. I can't wait. I have a lot of ideas of what songs I might sing, but I might just see what mood strikes me. And I will reclaim my voice. And hopefully I will not humiliate myself.
Suggestions are welcome in the comments section.
(Disclaimer: I did do karaoke on my 21st birthday. It was "Shoop" obviously, but the only part I really remember is that some chick from the crowd kept trying to steal Jenn's microphone while she sung back up and I told her to back the fuck off. I'd like a better experience this next time. Also, I'd like to remember it.)