Last weekend I enjoyed the best Saturday night I’ve had in a looooong time. It wasn’t some great big occasion with ball gowns and cocktails, instead I went for burgers with a good friend and then spent the rest of my night singing. Yes, singing.
My friend Caz is absolutely amazing at finding cool, new things to do, but when she messaged to say she’d booked us onto a pop up choir she’d mentioned to me previously I admit it took me a little while to fight my fear over the idea.
You see, I love singing. It’s one of those things that always touches my heart and leaves me feeling better no matter what else is going on. When I was younger I had proper singing lessons and absolutely adored them, but the idea of standing up in front of people and singing scared me more and more as time went on until eventually, other than the odd bout of drunken karaoke, I resigned myself to only ever singing when I was alone.
The pop up choir suggestion came up when I’d joined a group of Caz’s friends for birthday Disney karaoke a few weeks early and despite being sober, and surrounded by people, I’d sung my little heart out and enjoyed it.
So between that and the fact that I always love time with Caz – one of those people who leaves your heart feeling fuller and your mind abuzz with ideas and inspiration – I pushed the fear aside and agreed to go.
And I flipping LOVED it!
We started the night with dinner (because the one thing I have in common with all of my best friends is a love of good food!) and then headed to one of my favourite pubs, where we took our seat in a room amongst a group of other women.
The session was led by a lovely and incredibly talented lady called Beccy, who runs pop up choirs all over the North of the UK. The premise is pretty straightforward – you turn up, spend a couple of hours learning a song and then come together to perform for an audience.
For us the song was Price Tag by Jessie J, a song I’ve been known to belt out in the car more than a few times! The group split into three, some learning the bass line, others taking the high part of the backing vocal and the group containing Caz and I taking the tune.
After two hours we headed outside and performed our song together in front of the gathered crowd as the opening act for an event the pub were holding that night.
I can’t stress this enough; IT WAS BLOODY AMAZING. Like seriously… there was a bonfire in the background, the performance went brilliantly, the stars were out in full force, people were cheering – it felt kind of magical.
So amazing in fact that the buzz kept me up all night, and the general loveliness it created within me seemed to fill me up to take on the next few days with heaps of energy.
Part of it was about joining together with a group of fellow women to create something, and to bring it to being out there in the world – in my experience there are very few feelings more awesome than that!
But the biggest part was about taking the time out to do something I love; something that feeds my soul and something that I’m actually not too bad at when I go for it and about breaking down the barriers of my fear to do that thing out there in the world regardless of what anyone else says!
Just the act of doing that seemed to unlock something in me; in her book Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the power in doing something creative, even if it’s not usually our “thing”, to break through any fear or blockages we have. Well, call it Big Magic if you like but I don’t think it’s any coincidence that in the week since our choir I’ve written more of my next book than I had in the six weeks previously.
But more than all of that, I had So Much Fun!
So I am challenging, no – I am imploring you to fight through the barriers of fear that have stopped you from doing something you love, or to think about the things you’ve always wanted to do but been scared of, and instead to break out of your comfort zone and do it!
At the very least you get to try it out, and see whether it’s really as much fun as you’d imagined or remembered. And at best, well who knows what you could learn, who you could meet and how much you could enjoy it?
Stop thinking, stop being afraid and just bloody do it.
And if you need some inspiration as to how awesome it can be, check out the video of our pop up choir experience here.