I’ve made no bones that, at one time in my life I wanted to be a rock star. I wanted to sing in front of adoring fans and raise the roof with some kick-a$$ songs that I wrote myself. Never mind that I was just a mediocre musician. And never mind that I never have an incredibly strong voice. I mean really … I never did make the actual Show Choir in High School; the same Show Choir that would go on to compete and  perform in other settings (a-la Glee).

My Cousins & I being "Gleeks"

Regardless, I just wanted to BE something important; to display some incredible talent and to feel some pride in myself. I wanted show that I had enough confidence in myself because confidence was something I’ve struggled with my entire life.

Well, not my entire life. Just from Eighth Grade on, when upon leading up to graduation from middle school, I was voted “Most Arrogant.” Which then resulted in me being ousted from my usual group of classmates; especially  during our class trip to Toronto where I got stuck rooming with one of the school teachers and the other “bad girls” of our class.

Anyway, my point in bringing that up is to show how one bad incident in a person’s life can affect his or her outlook in life; his or her confidence in what may be considered talent or skill.

Hubby rockin' out on Rockband

Last week I’ve start getting back into American Idol. I usually like watching the first few weeks with all the auditions just so I can get a good laugh at some of the contestants (“Pants on the ground,” anyone?). Then I usually opt out of Hollywood Week and the first few live weeks; aiming to pick it back up around the Top 12 or so. And I think I do that because by then, most of the contestant’s real personalities start to show off in their performance; they’re more comfortable in the skin that they’re in. In short, they start to have much more confidence in themselves.

The reason I brought up American Idol in relationship to confidence is because some of the comments that Simon, Randy and the other judges make in response to some of the contestants’ performances. Many times I’ve heard them say that singers need to find themselves in the song choices they make; they need to make the song their own. And while I sometimes think they try to pigeonhole a few contestants into a certain genre, I do feel that the judges do that in their best interest; to help the contestants focus on what the judges feel is their strength.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, my parents had a very early version of a karaoke machine; a dual tapedeck and 8-track player that could record your voice singing to an instrumental version of any song in your karaoke tape library. (What can I say? It was the early 80’s … CD’s and digital technology wasn’t consumer-friendly at the time.) So yeah, I’ve got a few tapes downstairs in my parents’ basement with my voice one them.

More Rockband with Hubby's Cousins

But the thing about these recordings is that my voice always tried to sound like the artist that originally recorded the song. Whether it was a breathy version of “Like a Virgin” or a nasally version “Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me?” I never truly discovered my own voice.

As I continue to find my new reality in a Child-free world, I’m finding that I’m beginning to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I find that, although I’m not always the most well-liked person out there … don’t always hold the same popular opinion that other people have … I’m quite okay with it; comfortable enough that I don’t always feel like I need to be “right” or prove someone “wrong.”

Oh, believe me … most days I still find myself “left out” of the Mommyhood Club, seeing that I’m part of that 10% of the population that bite the infertility statistical bullet. There are more days than none where I feel the losses more than I count my blessings … but those “off days” seem to happen less frequently.

And, unlike the awkward 13-year old eighth-grader who felt incredibly shunned by her classmates, I’m no longer afraid of showing a little pride in myself; a little more confidence on who I really am … regardless of whether I’m a mom or not.

Ironically? This year … the year I’ve finally accepted myself and my body for what it is? Well, it’s the same year that I’ve managed to stop trying to sing like Madonna; the year that I’ve finally found my own voice.

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Annnnddd … it’s Finnish today; for my Daily Lenten exercise:

Tyler also "Rocks Out"!

Hyvän teon tänään: Once again, I managed to find another stray dollar bill laying around. This time it was in a typically busy hallway at work. And of course when I found it, the entire hallway was empty. So once again, I made a donation to my co-worker’s favorite homeless guy. Funny thing was, when I found it I was on the phone with Hubby. And his comment was, “Wow; if you kept all the dollar bills you’ve found recently, you’d have a nice little pot.” Of which I quickly replied, “No way … I’d rather have my good deed return to me in spades!” Hey, my philosophy has always been “What goes around, comes around”!

Tunne kiitollisuutta päivä: I am so grateful to have the staff of RN Case Managers that I do. Even though they challenge me every day … today, especially as I rolled out their performance goals for the year … they’ve always showed appreciation to me for giving them the opportunity to express their opinions. Hey, I figure that I’d rather hear the complaints directly in front of me than behind my back!!

Okay, that’s all for now. G’night once again!