I can think of a couple of different things to write about in this weeks Writer’s Workshop assignments. The first being stepping outside the box. I think I wrote about this before but will do it again.
I have always enjoyed going to karaoke bars, not to sing, but to listen to other people sing. See, I have this disability. It’s called cantsingatall. I mean I can’t even carry a tune in a bucket. Seriously… even if I had to take it back out to bury it because it was so dead rotten. Can NOT sing a lick. And yet I tried. Call me stupid, call me ignorant, or maybe you can just call me intoxicated.
It all started when I went to Dallas in February for a convention with my friend Ange’ who lives here in GA. We took a kind of spur of the moment road trip and the second night we were there we had someone from the group say we were meeting up at a Karaoke bar in kind of downtown Dallas. We went and had dinner and a few drinks and all the people in our group (there were about 20 of us there together) starting getting up and singing Karaoke in groups and after having a couple of margaritas (and not really drinking much of anything in the last like ten years) it seemed like everyone was having SUCH a good time I was almost convinced to try it myself.
Then thank GOD the “magic hour” came upon us (closing time) and everyone was leaving so everyone was saved by the bell (the closing one) and by the next morning, when the alcohol had worn off I couldn’t believe I had even considered do such a thing. I’m talking WAY outside my comfort zone. Heck, that would be way out everybody else’s comfort zone (for their ears) for that matter. I realized my opportunity had passed and I silently thanked God that it had.
The night before, (before we went to the bar) we had all been to listen to an inspirational speaker and his theme was facing your fears and stepping outside your comfort zone. He actually had a “volunteer”, one that HE volunteered, come up on stage who was not just scared of, but petrified of snakes. By the end of the night he had her hold a snake. She wasn’t real happy about it, but she did it. It wasn’t fake, you could see the terror in her eyes when he came near her with that thing but she did actually hold it for about 5 or 10 seconds which was quite an accomplishment for her. The rest of the conference we referred to anything we were afraid of as “holding our snake”.
I pass myself off as very friendly and outgoing and extroverted. Truth is I force myself to be such an extrovert. My nature is to be shy and quiet and sit and observe others and then join in when I feel comfortable. Getting up on stage in front of people would be holding a garden snake for me. Getting up on stage in front of people and talking would be akin to holding a rattlesnake. Getting up on stage and singing??? That would be taking a freaking anaconda and wrapping it around my whole entire freaking body…. Or better yet? Just open it’s freaking mouth and crawl in. That is how freaking paralyzing just the thought of singing karaoke is to me.
All day long we talked back and forth about facing our fears and stepping out of our comfort zone and doing things that didn’t necessarily feel natural for us but that we knew we would need to do in order to be successful.
Oh, this was also the same trip that I got to meet the lovely Angelia, from Living, Loving. Laughing. She met us at our hotel and we all went to dinner at this yummy Mexican restaurant (I think it was called Uncle Julio’s) and we had to have margaritas there, right? I mean it WAS a Mexican restaurant…. It would have been uncouth NOT to have a margarita there. We would have been insulting the eating establishment NOT to. So, we couldn’t do that, so we had at least one there. I felt as if I’d known Angelia forever and we had a great time and I don’t remember which of the four of us suggested it, but, someone suggested we go BACK to the Karaoke bar from the night before.
We were off and since I wasn’t driving I may or may not have had at least one more margarita. Did I mention that when I drink margaritas I tend to lose some of my shyness and inhabitions? I don’t know what it is about those things but the tend to embolden me (maybe it’s called getting sloshed?). I wasn’t that tipsy but my friend Ange’ decided we needed to Karaoke. She is NOT shy and tends to be a little bolder than me and I somehow allowed myself to be talked into picking a song with her. That was my plan anyway. I was just going to help her pick the song and let her sing it. We picked out Shania Twain’s Feel Like a Woman and I’m pretty sure that Shania sounds a whole lot better than we did. Thankfully I don’t have any video evidence of our horrorfest, but, here is Shania singing it.
Somehow I ended up on the stage with her and Angelia was there to snap photo proof that I conquered my snake. I was still embarrassed to death and scared witless but I did it. Much to the horror and misfortune of those other patrons in the bar, I actually sang Karaoke and believe me you…. That was about as far out of my comfort zone that I could ever in a million years get. I think the only way I could get any further out would be if I had to do it by myself around sober people who might remember the next day what I had actually done. Or around other people who would know who I was and remember it. At least I was in the presence of friends and they didn’t care how much of a fool I made of myself.
This post has been brought to you by Mama Kat, her Writer’s Workshop and prompt #3.) Steppin outside the box (describe a time when you went way out of your comfort zone)
(inspired by Sherri from Matter Of Fact).