Today, I’m going to make a big confession; this is a fact that has plagued my soul because I desperately wish it wasn’t true. Some of you may already know this, but many of you probably don’t.
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I have no sense of rhythm.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m able to admit that I actually might have a lovely singing voice (ad majorem Dei gloriam), I may even be able to admit that my sense of pitch is possibly slightly above average, but no matter how “loverly” my voice may be, I could never be successful as a vocalist because I can’t follow the beat. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at faking my way through pieces. I’ve been blessed with a beautifully strange memory, so my brain very quickly memorizes entrances, cut offs, when to move from one note to the next, and so on. It’s especially easy when I’m singing a’ capella: alone or in a choir. I’ve even gotten pretty good at memorizing an accompaniment so that I can sing along; however, if I ever have to sing with unfamiliar instruments or accompaniments, I struggle to figure out when to sing or even what note to sing. I’m like a little flounder in the deep, dark sea.
Yes, I’m that awkward person who can’t clap at the right time. If I am going to clap even semi-successfully, I have to stop singing so that I don’t lose my concentration.
It’s strange because music is so much a part of me, I can feel when to move, when to wait, when to stop. To keep with the sea analogies, I’m like a turtle surfing the currents. Somehow, though, if you ask me to find the downbeat, I panic… and I sink.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to learn rhythm, or if I’ll just be stuck like this forever. (Do any of you know how I can teach myself rhythm? Is it possible?)
I don’t want to go my whole life un-metered, but I have learned sort of recently how my lack of musical cadence can actually be a gift. First of all, it obviously helps keep me humble. Oddly enough, it also helps me to understand that some people really do love me.
All my life, I’ve been battling a poor self-image, low self-esteem, and an inability to believe that anybody could possibly love me. A couple of years ago, I was finally able to see that God loves me, but I still couldn’t really believe that any humans loved me. This past November, I was slightly enlightened.
I went to see my dear friend, Tajci Cameron, sing an Advent concert in Illinois. Actually, I ended up going to two concerts because
Matthew, her husband, convinced me to drive around three hours with them to the second concert in Danville. The car trip was quite nice; I drove with Tajci, and we talked about random, beautiful things like psychology, theater, books, and life.
Once she was on stage, she surprised me by telling the audience my story (which I may post on here at a later date), and asking me to sing with her. Of course, I was thrilled, and remarkably, I wasn’t nervous at all. Unfortunately for me, my thrill pretty quickly turned into humiliation because I couldn’t find the beat, and I kept hitting wrong notes, and I eventually forgot half of the words to the song. In the moment, it was pretty funny and exceptionally gawky, but at the end of it all, Tajci looked at me and said, “I love you,” in a tone that hit me right in the heart because it was so purely genuine. Naturally, it wasn’t the first time she, or anybody else, had said that to me, but it was the first time I believed it.
I spent the rest of the concert in tears of joy and relief, thanking God for my gift of inadequacy.
I would love to hear your stories of discovering love or blessings of inadequacy! I really don’t want this blog to be just about me; I’m trying to share inspiration and truth with everyone, so please feel free to contribute your thoughts and feelings. God bless you!