Sunday, August 18, 2013
I'm not a social person
There were times in my life when I WAS more gregarious, but I have receded into my shell to such an extent since my last job that I feel I'm doing well to connect with anybody other than Cliff, in real life. I don't even know how to make conversation these days, unless I run across someone who loves cows or has a husband who almost died from gall bladder problems. Or loves to go barefoot, or has a garden.
Knowing I am so terrible at communicating, I seldom try any more. What, me make conversation? Who wants to hear what I have to say? I hate shopping, I don't like shoes or purses. But hey, have you met my pet chicken?
Yeah, that would go over like a lead balloon.
So a year or so ago, somebody at church ratted me out, telling somebody else that I used to sing.
Well, back in the late 70's and early 80's when a few pretty good songs came floating down from somewhere, I was grateful for them and promised God that if anybody asked me to sing my songs, no matter whether I wanted to or not, I would do it, but that I would never promote myself, never ask to sing anywhere. After thirty years of not having been bothered with anybody asking me to sing, here I am on the spot again.
It helps that I attend a small church. On the positive side, I have rediscovered the songs I wrote back when I used to be a songwriter and have fallen in love with them again.
This morning I tried to explain to my husband and my adopted granddaughter Heather why it bothers me to sing in front of people, even when the audience is small. I am never ashamed of the songs I've written, by the way. I feel they are pretty darned good. BUT...
1. I am not good at playing the guitar. Even though all I do is chord, which a ten-year-old could do, I hit a clunker sometimes. This is why I always choose the thinnest flat picks I can find: They make a softer, quieter strum, so if I mess up it isn't so loud and obvious.
2. I'm not particularly happy with my voice, which goes flat occasionally. This isn't one of those cases where I put myself down in hopes somebody will protest, telling me I'm not that bad. It's honestly how I feel.
But hey, I promised God if somebody asked me I would sing, so sing I do, when I have to. Why He had me take a thirty-year pause before somebody asked me again, I haven't any idea. I'm sixty-nine years old, for pete's sake. Why now? I'm tired. It's like starting over. I thought I was done with all that. It's scary.
I am not comfortable in front of an audience. Now, you set me down in a circle with a bunch of people strumming and singing together and I'll do fine, but I hate being the center of attention because I know I'm not that good. I have trouble making eye contact with one individual; let's don't even talk about looking out at several pairs of eyes watching me as I "perform".
This is what I tried to explain to Cliff and Heather, and for what it's worth, I'm telling my readers also.