Skip to main content

Are you as courageous as a 7 year old?

This past weekend my younger daughter waited in a waiting room for "forever" (approximately 45 minutes), then stood in a line in a hall for "even longer" (approximately 20 minutes), and finally heard her number called (not her name). It was her turn. She walked into a room and stood in front of four adults and sang her heart out. All by herself.

She had the boldness and courage to walk into a room and audition for a show. She put herself out there to go for something she really wanted. She had the wisdom to know what she wanted.

She'd had about two days(ish) to prepare. We learned about the opportunity to do this on Thursday. We spent a little time that evening selecting a song. Then, she applied herself for two straight hours learning the melody and lyrics. The next day was a school day but still, under her own motivation, she worked that evening memorizing and getting comfortable. The next morning, thanks to some generous and talented family, we went to her aunt's to practice singing with a piano and sheet music. That was a whole new ball to learn to toss.

She had many what ifs:

What if I forget to sing?
What if I forget the words?
What if I sound bad?
What if they think I sound bad?
What if I don't start at the right time in the music?
What if I wear the wrong thing?
What if I don't know where to go?
What if I get nervous?
What if I am so nervous I can't sing or talk?

Her what-ifs reached a fever pitch shortly before the audition, as her nervousness grew. I debated fiercely inside myself about whether to offer her an out but decided to not offer it. I thought it was more important to respect her ability by believing in her absolutely -- offering an out seemed, somehow, in this case, to be a message that undermined her. She knows she can quit, and I rather expected she'd bring that up. I really wasn't sure what I'd do if she did -- talk with her about it, I suppose, try to encourage her to try anyway, after all the work she did -- but not once did she ever out loud entertain the idea of giving up.

She decided on her own to stay in and when the time came, she walked in to that room alone and pulled what she needed from within herself and did it.

I said she walked in there all by herself but she wasn't ever really alone. She had a lot of supporters there in spirit.

I offered her the chance to do this and supported her through it because I believe in her, absolutely. Her father was the ditto to that. Her uncle told her he feels nervous at auditions too and he's been to tons of them. Her aunt described the process in detail until she could visualize it. Her grandmother printed out the sheet music in two keys to help her figure out which she preferred and told her to use nerves for energy. We all talked with her, talked her through, her what-ifs.

She is rich in this support and encouragement. It gives you the confidence to believe you can try. But in truth, choosing to walk through that door is all her, all her and her alone.

She did mess up. Her knees knocked and her stomach butterflied, she told me. But she did it. She even will have a spot of some sort in the show, nothing lead or key, just a bit of chorus here and there.

When she returned from the audition to meet me in the lobby, I did not ask her how it went, what happened, what they said, or anything like that. I had thought long and hard the entire time she was gone about what mattered, what to ask and how to phrase it.

"What do you think now that you have finished this?" I asked her.

"I think it was hard and a lot of work, and I was really scared," she said.

"I see," I said, listening.

"I'm glad, though and can't wait to do the show!"

She felt proud of herself for working so hard to prepare, for walking in that room, and for taking a chance.

She may just be chorus in the show but she was the lead in her own life.

Are you as courageous as a seven year old?

Comments

Brandie said…
Love this! She is very courageous. And I hope that she has an amazing time doing this show! =)
Julie Pippert said…
Thanks, Brandie! My main point to her was that I was so in awe and proud that she had worked so hard and then went for it!
Christine said…
she is indeed so brave!!! i could never have done it as a child heck i couldn't do it as an adult! :-) BRAVO LITTLE ONE.
Brave girl! So wonderful that she has the courage to chase her dreams, Julie. That is huge. Now SHE'LL have fun doing the show and learn even more for her next opportunity. Way to go, mom and family. :)
Ed T. said…
It is indeed scary, the first time a little bird flaps its wings and tries to fly. Fortunately for your daughter, she has a lot of folks giving her the support she needed. I'm glad to hear she went for it, as a former stage performer I suspect she will enjoy it immensely.

~EdT.
Karen Jensen said…
I want to be as courageous as a 7 year old one day!
jeanie said…
What a wonderful step in the journey of her life. We so often tether ourselves with the demons of possibility of failure - good on her!!!
StarTraci said…
I love that she was so proud of herself. I could learn a lot from that 7 year old!

:-)
Traci
Anonymous said…
I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I could have written this post when my daughter was about 9, (7 is even more impressive!) What your daughter has done is something that a HUGE percentage of the general population could never do. That in itself speaks to great courage and character.

Can I ask what the show is?

This is Van, by the way.

Popular posts from this blog

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Quorum

After being confronted with written evidence, Julie admits that she is a total attention whore. In some things, in some ways, sometimes I look outward for validation of my worth and existence. I admit it. It's my weak spot, my vanity spot . If you say I am clever, comment on a post, offer me an award, mention me on your blog, reply to a comment I left on your blog, or in any way flatter me as a writer...I am hopelessly, slavishly devoted to you. I will probably even add you to my blogroll just so everyone can see the list of all the cool kids who actually like me . The girl, she knows she is vain in this regard , but after much vanity discussion and navel-gazing , she has decided to love herself anyway, as she is (ironically) and will keep searching for (1) internal validation and (2) her first person . Until I reach a better point of self-actualization, though, may I just say that this week you people have been better than prozac and chocolate (together, with a side of whi

In defense of vanity...I think

Do you have one of those issues where you argue with yourself? Where you just aren't sure what you actually think because there are so many messages and opinions on the topic around you? I have more than one like this. However, there is one topic that has been struggling to the top of my mind recently: vanity and perceived vanity. Can vanity be a good thing? Vanity has historically been truly reviled. Vanity is number seven of the Seven Deadly Sins. It's the doppleganger of number seven on the Seven Holy Virtues list: humility. There are many moralistic tales of how vanity makes you evil and brings about a spectacular downfall. Consider the lady who bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth. Google Borgia+vanity and find plenty. The Brothers Grimm and Disney got in on the act too. The Disney message seems to be: the truly beautiful don't need to be vain. They are just naturally eye-catchingly gorgeous. And they are all gorgeous. Show me the Reubenesque Pr

Is your name yours? How your name affects your success...

Made by Andrea Micheloni Not too long ago I read What's in a name? by Veronica Mitchell. She'd read the NPR/USA Today article, Blame it on your name , that shared new research results: "a preference for our own names and initials — the 'name-letter effect' — can have some negative consequences." Veronica's post and that article got me thinking about names, and their importance. Changing to my husband’s name and shedding my maiden name was no love lost for me. By the time we married, I’d have gladly married any other name just for a change. My maiden name was a trial; I was sick of spelling it, pronouncing it, explaining it, and dealing with the thoughtless rude comments about it. My sister and I dreamed and planned for the day we could shed that name. So I wonder, sometimes, whether I adequately considered what a name change would actually mean. Heritage and genealogy matter to me and my maiden name reflected a great deal of familial history. Histo