Still Rocking the Mic after all these Years

Around ManilaSocial Gatherings
May 31, 2010

Those of you who have known me a long time know that Sarah & Singing just plain go together.  I think the best way to explain it to you would be that I have my own “Pandora” station that plays in my head (we’ll call it WSLN for simplicity sake).  At any given time on WSLN you’re most likely to find one of the following playing: Show tunes, Church Songs, anything by Celine Dion, the latest top 100 hit from the pop charts or a nice acoustic singer/songwriter piece.  The key is that the voice is emphasized over the other instruments, because I’m ALL ABOUT THE VOICE.

Where I get into trouble is when I think WSLN is just playing in my head but then all of a sudden I find myself singing out loud with it (the music is just so damn good!)  During my Target Corp. years I got a lot of crazy stares for being that “Elevator Singer”.  I didn’t mean to, it just kind of happened as I was in my own world… Alas, some things are just a part of you.

For those who have only known “Foreign Service Sarah”, I’ll give you a brief history on my musical background to build my credibility (so at least you’ll think I’m a DECENT elevator singer!)  Here goes: Started church choir in 3rd grade, started soloing around 6th grade, took 6 years of voice lessons from 7th-12th grade, sang with a choral group and soloed on a Christian recording that was released when I was in 8th grade, did musical theater and choir all through high school, soloed in church in my early 20’s, currently choir-less and trying to identify the role singing will play in my overseas life.

So why am I even writing about singing today?  Well, on Friday night I took my sister out with a group of friends to a place called Redbox, which is basically a Karaoke club.  The thing is, it’s nothing like Karaoke in the States.  It’s not in a bar or VFW where you’re singing in front of a room of strangers.  It’s an intimate, social affair where you and your favorite peeps rent an appropriately-sized room to rock out in.  There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 different rooms that you can rent out, varying in size from 2-4 people all the way up to 35 people.  The largest rooms have both an area for singing and an adjacent area for pool or poker.  That way the people who don’t like to sing are entertained as well.  It’s a brilliant concept, I tell you, because even non-singers are more inclined to come.

Okay, so not only did we have a blast, but it also stirred up all this longing to be singing more regularly (translation: in a choir).  I love using my voice in that way… I can access this part of me that’s just so free and ALIVE.  The simplest way to put it (the thing I think I’ve always known) is that the best part of me, my HIGHEST SELF, shows up when I’m singing.  It’s like I get a direct connection to the divine because in those moments when I’m singing, I know that everything’s going to be fine and that I am MAGNIFICENT.

I can’t believe I’ve never been able to articulate that up until now, but it’s true.  Who knew it would take a night of karaoke singing to get me in touch with that?  So now that I’ve shared, I’m curious, what’s that one activity you do that connects you with your BEST, MOST ALIVE self?

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