I have memories of suspecting that I could sing maybe around 2nd or 3rd grade. Definitely by the time 3LW dropped their self-titled album in 2000. That was my first time being around someone who could really sing. We would play 3LW (I was always Adrienne) and I was a bit shy, but my friend with the pipes never held back. That may have been my first spark of inspiration, my first thought of “I could be a singer”.
Before then, my brother and I would play a game about us owning a record label. We would set up concerts, make the track-lists for our artists’ albums, and even write and sign their checks. I’ve always Loved “the music business”, but it wasn’t until my 3LW games, with my friend with the pipes, that I really saw myself on the other side of the music biz…in someone’s cd player, or on someone’s stage.
Fast forward to the age of 13. Humming along to my mp3 player on a bus trip back home from cheerleading camp, I was heard by a local singing group’s manager. Now, I don’t know what happened between the age of 8 and 13, but by this time, I was completely taken aback by someone telling me that I knew how to sing. I didn’t believe her, but learning that the young group wrote their own music roped me in, and soon, I was all the way in.
My time with the group only lasted a year and I Loved it very much, but became more and more self conscious about my singing ability as the year pressed on. I’d gone to see a specialist and found that I had nodules on my vocal chords preventing me from climbing very high up the scale (probably from all of my previous years of being a screaming cheerleader). This could be fixed over time, but I felt like the shitty member of the group. I didn’t believe that I had it and didn’t want to try to. If it wasn’t for the fact that I could write my ass off, I probably would have let my insecurity push me out the group much sooner.
Once it did end, however, I was devastated. I don’t know if I ever said it out loud, but inside me, I made a vow to never sing again. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough, afraid that I’d embarrass myself, just afraid altogether. So, I hid that part of me. I hid myself from music as much as I could and told myself that I was okay with it, that that was how it should be.
Music always found me though, no matter where I hid. Music would find me in the people I met. So many people found out that I could sing and encouraged me until they were blue in the face, I appreciate that now.
Now, I don’t know how, but I’m in a space of not fighting, not hiding. I sing because I Love to. It’s so much of who I am. Once I put Love into that talent, my nodules began to heal. I can do things with my voice now that was not even a thought when I was a teenager. That’s called divine timing. I had to submerge myself in this self-Love and confidence in order to do what I thought was the impossible. And now I sing all the time.
So, to my voice, thank you. Thank you for waiting for me to see what you’ve always had. And a huge thank you to everyone that I sing with these days, for seeing it in me even when I still have my little struggles. I Love to sing and because of you, I get to feel that Love as much as I want.