Happy Friday all!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
That's a question we ask little kids...and I haven't a clue why. What does a 5 year old know about anything? What kind of job hunting experience do fourth graders have?
Yet in our society we insist on asking children what they want to be. And the list is short at first: " I want to be like my dad or mom. I want to be a fireman. I want to be a teacher." Because life experience is short.
As kids get older, the list is a little more varied: "I want to play for the Packers." "I want to be a model." "I want to be a baker." "I want to write a best selling novel, something bigger than "Gone with the Wind" and spend my days doing nothing but book signings and public readings for the rest of my life."
That last one was just for me. Because that exact thing is what I've wanted to be since I read "Gone with the Wind" in seventh grade.
Sure, I have a list of stuff I wanted to be when I grew up. Who didn't? And no, I've never been a paramedic, a rescue dog (yes, in 3rd grade I was convinced I was a dog), a librarian, or a jockey. (Other than being an author, that's literally the list of stuff I wanted to be as a kid.)
I have been a waitress, a teacher, a nursing assistant in a CBRF, a 3rd shift retail stocker, a janitor, a telemarketer, a newspaper girl, a hotel maid, a cook in a CBRF, a babysitter, a receptionist, a janitorial supervisor, a 3rd shift gas station attendant, a sales person, a cashier, a data entry clerk, an office manager, and the person in charge of collecting plumbing permits for a bath remodeling company. Right now I'm an employment analyst, and I would explain what that is, but it would take too long.
My point is that when we're kids we dream of great stuff we want to be from a very short list of what I like to call first level jobs. Fireman, police, teacher...the obvious ones.
But reality, when it comes to jobs, is far more...detailed. I was already too fat in 8th grade to be a jockey...my mother talked me out of being a paramedic and a librarian, and I'm obviously not a dog. And, since at my ripe age I've yet to write anything better than "Gone with the Wind" (I'm still working on that one) it's clear I'm probably not going to be any of my childhood dream jobs.
Which is okay, because the jobs I've had in my life have been colorful. But, let's be honest, no little girl dreams of the day she's a data entry clerk for the quality control department of a medical equipment manufacturer. Joe versus the Volcano anyone?
However, there's one dream I've had my whole life, only a very, very few people actually know about it, that I recently had to let go of forever.
I'm never going to be a rock star.
Since the day I bought my first curling iron (Girls from the 80's will understand that) I've held this dream that I would one day sing onstage with thousands of people screaming my name. The closest I ever came was playing "Eeyore" in my high school children's theater production of Winnie the Pooh. The only person screaming my name then was the director. She really didn't like me much but it was a small high school and I kept signing up for parts so she had to give me something.
My official relationship with my singing voice has long been disappointing. In high school and college I tried out for all kinds of select choirs, but didn't make them because...well...I'm not good. In fact, in high school I only got to go on choir tour with my high school swing choir because some other kid got into trouble and wasn't allowed to go. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of my talents. I even had a choir director tell me once after a try out, "I thought your voice would be better." Turns
out, he knew some of my extended family, all of whom are great church singers.
A friend of mine and I even formed a band in college and called it "Generic." Why? Because I'm old enough that when there were non national brand items in a grocery store they had black and white labels and were called "generic" products. My friend, Todd, and I thought that would be awesome for a band. We'd always wear black and white and people would love us for are amazing lyrics and killer vocals.
Full disclosure, Todd and I realized, thanks to a recording booth at an amusement park, that we probably were not meant to sing duets together. Yes, the tape exists. No, I will not share it with you.
|Me with friends from college acting like rock stars.|
Note my drumsticks. Not sure what I was thinking with the
|Me with some college friends, |
pretending we're a rock band.
Note my headband and drumsticks.
No, the rock star dream died only recently, months after I'd hit the mid century mark for an age. It died not because I realized I have no talent. I think we all know that's not a roadblock that troubles me. No, it died because every year for the last several years I get a terrible cold that doesn't act like a cold. I'm not congested, I just cough, HARD, for several days, lose my voice, and then get over it. Happens a couple of times a year sometimes.
Back in June I got such a serious cough I started hacking up blood. This was new for me so I went to the doctor and he gave me a name. Bronchitis. Yep...looking back I figure I've had bronchitis at least fifteen times and every time I get it, I lose another singing note off the top of my register. I used to be able to wail on a High A. Probably why a lot of choir directors kept me around. I could read music and I could hit a high A. Also, I was always in NO CUT choirs.
Now, I've lost almost an entire octave to bronchitis. I've gone from a soprano in a no cut choir to an alto in a no cut choir and there are days I don't have the vocal strength for that.
Which makes me really begin to doubt my plan to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a performer.
Thanks to this last round of bronchitis, there are times when I attempt to sing in my car, the place where I ROCK THE HARDEST, and no sound comes out. Nothing. I know the notes and I'm forcing air over my vocal chords, but nothing comes out.
So, this past week I figured I would reveal this childhood dream, the last of mine to die, now that it's gone. I'm never going to be a rock star. I'm never going to perform at Red Rocks or the Hollywood Bowl or on Sunset Strip. I might even have to quit my church choir because no sound is coming out of my face.
I still have a curling iron, though. It's actually the same one I used in college.
Hope springs eternal.