So I had my tattoo.
Which was a big one.
And tonight I ticked something else off my "things to do before I turn 35" list.
I joined a choir.
Me! Who can't sing.
Well, actually... let me tell you a story about that.
For as long as I can remember I have been surrounded by music and by singers. My parents love to sing and can hold a quare tune. My sister has a voice that could charm the birds from the trees and my other siblings are also musically inclined.
Me? I have tended to come from the "what she lacks in talent, she makes up for in enthusiasm" school of thought.
When I was little I loved to sing. I sang all the time. It was as natural as breathing in our house. So when, in around Primary 4 our class was asked by the music teacher who wanted to sing in the local Feis I duly put my hand up very enthusiastically and shouted "Me! Me! Me!"
So, along with the other wannabe singers in my class I stood up and sang my song for the teacher and proudly smiled at her when I was done expecting to her to tell me (in the much the same way my mammy and granny always did) that I was a lovely singer and wouldn't I just sweep the boards at Derry's Guildhall with my angelic voice.
She didn't say that.
She smiled sweetly mind and said "You've a lovely voice..... for a choir".
Now my 7 year old self knew this meant that frankly the only place I was good for singing was surrounded by other people who would more than likely drown me out. I did indeed join the primary school choir after that but over the years her words chipped away at me until I didn't sing.. ever.
It became almost a phobia.
When I had children I of course had to battle that phobia and cam give a pretty mean rendition of Twinkle Twinkle. I also liked to sing in the shower or the car. But if I had an inkling that anyone (other than my children) would be listening I would shut up. When my children reached that delightful age where they would say "No, mammy, no" when I started to sing I was quieter still.
I can laugh about it, but the line most said at a family gathering in our house was "Claire doesn't sing". I even refused to sing on a recording the rest of the family made for my father.
It has been one of those which has long since annoyed me.
Over the years I've toyed with the idea of pushing myself - finding my voice, singing again. Singing, while not my comfort zone, gives me a great sense of release.
So sometime last year (probably around the time Glee came on our screens) I decided I wanted to join a choir. But I never thought I really would. I never thought that I could sit in a room full of other people and actually open my mouth to sing.
I did it tonight. I sat and I sang (and it was a bit rubbish as I have a cold). And I'll go back next week and sing again. And even thought I may be the quiet, not always in tune, voice at the back I'll go back and go back and sing and reclaim that confidence of that wee girl who had her Feis hopes dashed.
Yes. Mrs Joyce. Maybe you were right. I DO have a lovely voice for a choir.
Reading At The Edge - I'm delighted to return to Cavan on Tuesday, next week for At The Edge, run by Kate Ennals. Do come and join it, it's a terrific line up and there's an op...
23 hours ago