I’m afraid to even say it.
It looks like things may be *starting* to fall together for me. After months of uncertainty and indecision and fear and disappointment (paired with absolute certainty and discovery and bravery and joy), it looks like I might be taking the first steps down a path that will lead to the next chapter of my life.
Could it be? Could it actually be that being kind and gentle with myself is reaping rewards? I’m afraid to even say it out loud, like some spiteful god will take everything away from my even daring to presume that I actually have worth and value and that I might actually deserve to be happy and fulfilled and challenged and respected by myself and others.
As hopeful and cautiously optimistic as I feel, I still won’t let myself fully believe that things are going to work out. “Wait it out,” I say–convinced that something will happen to ruin my plans. And maybe something will happen. Maybe these plans won’t work out.
But as I write that, I see that it doesn’t matter. Because even if these plans do fall through, new plans will appear to take their place. Of course things are changing for me, because I have changed. And of course I deserve to be happy and fulfilled in my life, because everyone does.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Vacillating between “can it be true?” and “of course it’s true,” waiting to see how the chips fall.
And while we’re (not really) on the topic, I did something brave last weekend. Remember how I talked about how PETRIFIED I was to audition for musicals–how I hadn’t had “traditional” musical theatre audition in 12 years? Well kids, I did it. I sang. In front of people. At an audition. And it didn’t kill me!
I almost didn’t go through with it. I was fine all day–I was fine until I turned off the freeway at my exit. Then, all of a sudden, a wave of nausea came over me. My vision got splotchy, like it does when I’m about to pass out. I pulled over and sat on the side of the road, hazards blinking, breathing deep. I thought about how much I wanted to turn around and go home. But somehow…I knew that I wouldn’t. Because I realized that if I wanted to sing on stage–and I really want to sing on stage–I’d have to face a fucking audition eventually. And I knew that after twelve years of being too scared to ever audition I wasn’t magically going to get less freaked out about it. So I took a breath, pulled back into traffic and kept going.
And that’s when it hit me.
I’d already won.
This audition wasn’t about getting a part, or even getting a callback. That will come. This audition wasn’t even about nailing an audition, showing the people in the room everything I’m capable of doing. That will also come. My audition was a triumph before I even walked in the room. My audition was a triumph because I didn’t turn my car around and go home.
I wasn’t nervous after that. I had already succeeded. Plus, I had promised myself a fat, juicy burger when it was all over, so I knew that success or failure, my evening was only gonna get BETTER. I signed in. I walked in the room when it was my turn. I gave my notes to the accompanist–who was a friendly face, THANK GOD. I was totally thrown when the director said “Hello, Sarah,” because “Hi, my name is Sarah McGregor” was my first line and I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY AFTER HE SAID “SARAH”–but I managed to smile through my stammering idiocy. I took a breath (another success! I took a full breath!) introduced my song, and sang it. Was it the best I’ve ever sung? No way. But I sang the right notes and even managed to “live” in the song just the tiiiiiiiniest bit. Took a breath when the song was over before breaking my focus (another success!). Smiled, thanked them, and walked out.
Best of all, when I was driving home that night I had a thought I’d never even hoped I could have when it comes to singing auditions.
“That was fun,” I thought. ” I can’t wait for next time.”
And the I ate the f*ck out of that burger.