Music has always been a big part of my life. As a kid I was heavily involved in dance. And as a teen I took singing lessons.
I loved singing, more than pretty much anything… except my first true love (and I’m not sure I’d call it ‘love’ from where I sit today). That ‘first love’ told me I had to choose between him and singing and dance. I regrettably chose him.
To be honest, it wasn’t just him who put a plug in my singing. I’d gone for a few parts in musicals and never got a main part (likely because I’m a seriously shit actor – though a fabulous voice actor). Plus, I had some people who I really loved, tell me my voice was ‘meh’ after a private performance. All this added up to me taking that external feedback and making it mean I was crap at singing and should probably never do it again publicly.
It didn’t stop me belting out a karaoke tune after 10 beers, or letting loose while driving my car, but it did stop me from singing loud enough for the neighbours to hear. And I kind of believe that suppression of my favourite expression was a contributing factor to my journey with depression.
Late last year, after a conversation with a handful of girlfriends, who also found themselves censoring their singing, even in their own home (just in case someone should hear), I decided it was time to face this fear and go back to singing lessons.
The first lesson I cried. Check out episode 150 of Karlosophies podcast; where I share the behind the scenes of that lesson. And since, I’ve shed many tears – though mostly sweet tears of relief. Relief that I peeled back another layer of my self-doubt and self consciousness to express myself in a way that feels free.
I’ve been sharing this journey of creativity, expression and music with my little community via my Instagram profile -@karlosophies… I bought a uke and started lessons a few months ago. While I only know a few chords and my strumming sucks, I’ve been doing mini one-take live performances through insta stories. I’m forever telling my community to ‘move faster than their inner critic’ so decided to take a dose of my own medicine. Bad uke playing, out of key singing at times, but it’s real and honest.
So often we see the end result: all the practice pays off and we get a glimpse of a finely tuned, very well practised, performance.
I’m keen to highlight that it doesn’t matter how good, or not, you are at something—and how awesome, or not, people think you are— if you love something, do it.
Don’t suppress it. Share it.
Is there a part of you that you’ve been creatively suppressing due to fear? Maybe it’s time to let the lid off.