Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stretching my wings

Last Thursday, for reasons that I won't bore you with here (since most of my faithful readers have already heard the story anyway), I ended up singing at a company-wide meeting. Suffice it to say, it benefitted local charities, and it got me major brownie points with management.

I'm an adequate singer, by no means a great one, and not a particularly interesting performer. I've always preferred blending in, being part of the ensemble rather than the one out front. I reasoned, though, that most of the people watching would be impressed that I even had the chutzpah to stand in front of everyone and open my mouth. If I stayed reasonably on pitch, I would be able to walk out with my head held high.

So they fired up Walking After Midnight on the karaoke machine, and two lines into it, I knew I had them. They applauded when I started. They applauded when I hit the key change before the last chorus. (Yes, really.) And they cheered at the end. What a rush!

My friends gave me hugs and compliments, and even now, almost a week later, people will get on the elevator with me and make a comment. Looking back on it now, I still feel like I am on top of the world - all because I took something I knew I could do and pushed it a little further than I would ordinarily do. I stretched my wings, and for a moment, I flew.

Then, that night was the last night of spinning class. I have not become a brilliant spinner by any means, but I had four little balls of yarn in front of me that I had prepared with my own hands. I knitted sample pieces of yarn and held them against my arm to feel their warmth. A month ago, I didn't even know which end of a spindle was up. Now, if I had to, I could turn fiber into yarn, and yarn into clothing - all because I took a chance on something I had never done before.

And in a few days, I will once again embark on the NaNoWriMo journey. The Pikers will verify that I don't write fiction, and my previous NaNo efforts would certainly bear that out. So why do I continue to subject myself to this totally voluntary and slightly crazy activity? Because as much as I bitch about it, it feels good to push beyond my comfort zone for awhile.

But before I have any more astounding breakthroughs, I am going on vacation. Terry is taking a laptop along, and we have scouted out the free wifi spots, so you may hear from me. Or not. It's vacation, after all.

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