Alternate titles to this post: I Found my Voice Again, or My Big Comeback, or Keep It Down, I’m Trying to Think Here.
I’m that person in church. The “loud” singer.
At least that’s what one very cranky individual (who shall remain nameless) told me. I’m the proverbial black sheep that embarrasses the entire family at church, so he says.
I like to remind him that I’m trained to sing without a microphone, so it’s not that I’m loud per se, but that I can project really well. (This tends to fall on deaf ears and rolling eyes).
Since we left Baltimore, I’m ashamed to say that we did not go to church regularly. We’re not ultra-religious people here (we both view things at face value and can see through lots of hypocrisy in “the religious” but this post is not about that) but it did bother me a bit. Growing up, Sunday was for church and family.
Nonetheless, I felt something missing in my life. Working from home (sometimes 7 days a week depending on the projects at hand) left my life feeling like a tumbleweed drifting in the week. There was no pause (or, a rest, for you musical nerds reading) that provided purpose in my life. I realized that this “purpose” was going back to church. I craved it. Again, I’m not super religious, and when people quote bible verses on my Facebook feed (or even here in blog comments) it creeps me out; not so much because it’s the bible, but because it’s sometimes just so unexpected and unnatural for me. It was the spirituality of being in that Mass that I missed.
When we moved to Jacksonville in November, one of the first things I did was seek out a church. I found one and, surprising myself, I asked the priest to bless our house. Shortly after that, I found myself singing in a large Christmas choir in December. I was asked to cantor (leading music worship) at a few services in February, which turned into becoming a regular singer in their choir in addition to being a cantor. Fast-forward a few weeks and I find myself in weekly rehearsals and in the crazy (but exhilarating) stress that is Holy Week. (No musical pun intended).
It’s been a little bit of a harsh reality to me how much my muscles have atrophied from lack of singing. My core is weak and isn’t helping my breath support, so abdominal exercises are in order. Who knew I’d be working out to help me with singing?
Thank God I’m a loud singer.
I feel as if I’ve found my home again…even if I’m banished to the choir loft.
And it feels so good.