Do One Thing

Do One Thing

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

Several days ago, I didn’t know where I would be today. After two interviews in Sydney with an organization that excites me, I never received an invitation for the third and final round. I wasn’t quite ready to mount a full-on job search, settling down and temporarily leaving travel behind. But I wasn’t sure where to travel next because I was attempting to become more flexible and go with the flow. On the eve of my check-out date from the hostel, I sat on a couch in the lounge with my laptop and cruised Virgin Blue’s website for deals to various destinations. Minutes into browsing air fares, Aussie dad called and invited me to come back to Ballarat. Moments later, I purchased a one-way ticket to Melbourne.

It’s funny how things turn out. In early July I planned to spend two weeks in Ballarat doing various day trips around Victoria with my Aussie family and friends. From there I would fly to Sydney in early August for an interview and then fly on to Cairns for a road trip with Brooke. These plans changed when the organization called and asked if I could make the second round interview at a rescheduled date — mid-July instead of early August. Convinced that this was a work opportunity I couldn’t pass up, I put my travel plans on hold and accepted. Following the interview I waited for news. Would they offer a final round and perhaps the job? I extended my hostel stay several times hoping for a call, but when it never came, I found myself sitting on a couch at the hostel, wondering where to go next. And wouldn’t you know, I’m living out the original plans for July and August, only in reverse. I’ve been in Ballarat for several days, plan to spend the next two with James, and will soon book a flight to Cairns to kick off a two-week Queensland road trip with Brooke. Then, just maybe, I’ll settle in Sydney and resume the job search.

Once the flight was booked last Tuesday afternoon, I figured I would pack my bags that evening and go to sleep early. Thankfully Tuesday had neither in store for me :-)

The sign!
From Lululemon Athletica

Or as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor’s challenge has been one of my favorite quotes for a couple of years. In fact, I had it written on a note card and posted in my bedroom, car, and office, lest I forget.

So what does this has to do with last Tuesday night? Everything.

I finally did something I’ve been scared to do for years. Something on my bucket list. Something on my bucket list that I wanted to do one day but was in no rush to make happen. Without question, facing a fear and taking on a challenge has made last Tuesday night one of the most memorable experiences I have had in the last ten weeks.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have become the “karaoke queen.”

It doesn’t matter that I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, right? After all, people always say, “It doesn’t matter if you’re awful or not! Karaoke singing isn’t supposed to be good. It’s sooo fun.” But I knew better. Only people who *could* sing said that sort of thing. They wouldn’t royally embarrass themselves. Yes, I figured, only those who could sing (or at the very least weren’t tone deaf or dreadful) said that sort of thing to people like me.

Last Tuesday was Kalon’s birthday. While I haven’t named him before, he’s the fellow Queensland Maroons fan that works at my favorite hostel in Sydney. In addition to loving the Maroons, Kalon LOVES karaoke. And I mean love as in he and his best friend have the numbers to various karaoke bars in Sydney saved in their phones.

Just after dinner I received a text. “Decided not to be lame & stay at the hostel. A bunch of us are headed to karaoke. Are you keen?”

While I wasn’t keen, it was Kalon’s birthday and all. I wrote back saying I’d meet them soon but would probably observe. He seem pleased with that, especially since others had decided not to go. They were apparently slightly less keen than me.

Instead of performing in front of a crowd, five of us headed to a karaoke bar where we rented a tiny, private room. Hmm, this didn’t look too scary. Perhaps I would sing along (not into one of the two microphones of course!) and watch the other four shine in their performances.

But soon enough I was flipping through the song book, looking for one I wouldn’t totally butcher. Kalon and his best friend cheered me on as I selected Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer.

In the next three hours, I found myself singing The Gambler, Bye Bye Bye, Barbie Girl, Photograph, Jumpin’ Jumpin’, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You, and Popular (I did the show tune all on my own!).

I didn’t sound good but I wasn’t ohmygosheardrumburstingdoubleoverinpain worthy either. And I wasn’t the only karaoke virgin. Of the five of us, only Kalon and his best friend had done it before! You would have never known with the energy and enthusiasm everyone brought to the table. And on the walk back to the hostel, we were already planning our next karaoke evening.

I know it was only singing in front of four other people in a small room and not some mighty feat. But to me it meant so many things. Another item on my bucket list experienced! I’d met my Eleanor Roosevelt challenge for the day! I tried something new, surprised myself by loving it, and met fun new people. After several days of uncertainty and second-guessing myself, it was exactly the kind of experience I wanted and needed. Perhaps for the first time since quitting my job and boarding the plane, I let go of fear and took a risk.

Now it’s your turn. In the next 3 days, do one thing that scares you. And if you’re up for sharing, tell me about it.

Featured image from Visual Dichotomy

19 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Mom says:

    Quite a challange there young lady! Goodness, where do I start?

  2. Colton says:

    Well, I am leaving for home tomorrow, and that means one scary thing: a Heather-less life in Virginia. Oh, and I have an iffy tire on the car that may mean a blowout on the way home, but my best friend came to join me on the trip.
    Enjoy Ballarat and all that Australia has to offer. Don’t settle down too fast…and I mean that in every possible way. If you get the chance, drive a Ford Falcon XR8 for me and a Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst for me. Both are fun, speedy cars. 😀 If you get the chance this year, go see the Bathurst race. I may even join you if the funds are available.
    Please take care.

  3. Andi says:

    I just booked a ticket to Easter Island for October. A trip I so can’t afford right now, but I figure I have 2 months to find the money haha. This scares me. Great post–very inspiring! :)

  4. Annie says:

    Heather, I love every one of your posts! They are so much fun to read!

    I also had my first taste of karaoke in Sydney and from the sounds of this place it might have even been in the same bar! I went from quietly observing in the background the first night to jumping in and dancing along with every single song for hours. One of my favorite photos of all time is from that karaoke bar.

    As far as one things that scares me… I’ll have to do something thinking and get back to you!

    P.S. Andi I’m jealous of Easter Island! Take lots of pics and have fun!!!

    Enjoy your time Heather, everything will keep falling into place as it has!!

    • Heather says:

      Aww, thank you Annie!!! I really appreciate it.

      Looking forward to catching up on your blog now that my wifi is working at Aussie family’s house :-)

  5. Melissa says:

    Glad you had fun, completed a bucket list item, and got over a fear. So much completed in one small task. you are a fearless lady! :-)

  6. Dad says:

    Hummm. Next time you sing, I have a request. You can even personalize it for your home away from home. “Kentucky Rain” is one of my favorites….and you’d draw applause (with apologies to the fine citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky) by substituting the words “Kentucky Rain” with “Aussie Rain”. The late Elvis Presley and his fans would be most honored!

  7. Laura says:

    Heather, That is awesome! I was so pumped when I read that you had done karaoke. You feel like such a dork but it’s fun! I was like “please oh please say she sung something stupid like Backstreet Boys” and when I saw Nsync in there, that sealed the deal- I was so proud!

  8. Laura says:

    P.S. I was determined to take a local bus in Bangkok, being clueless about it with no guidebook in hand. I was nervous but figured the worst that could happen was I’d be lost in another neighborhood and just have to take a taxi anyway. It took an hour and I got kicked off the first two buses but the third time was a charm (apparently some are express while others are regular and you have to look for the blue board in the window NOT the blue sticker.

    • Heather says:

      Public transport in new places always makes me a little nervous (a lot sometimes!) just because I’m not familiar with it at home. You do many new things that I think would be challenging for me!!

      I’ll include a Backstreet Boys one for you next time 😉 The best part — NSYNC was performed by me and the only other girl!

  9. Poi says:

    Last time I tried Karaoke it didn’t go well, bar full of people and trying to sing a song I didn’t know any of the words to other than: nanana na nana gettin’ jiggy wit it!

  10. Dennis says:

    good for you! I get behind on blogs for a few days, but I saw your Facebook post from when you sang karaoke… glad you had fun!

    I do have a big story to tell that kind of fits in that category of doing something scary… I’ll send it to you later (do you still check your Yahoo e-mail? Is there somewhere else that would work better?).

  11. Jade says:

    We rented one of those small rooms and sang, too! Rob was the least keen on it, as he thought the whole experience was god awful. Bob got really, really into it- closing his eyes and all. I sang a few songs- but didn’t quite let go like you did. It sounds like you had so much fun.

  12. OK, so just reading through some posts on your blog after our chat tonight and this resonates with me. As you know, I was at church on Sunday and they decided it was time for holy communion. Now, being alone (??) in this massive church performing rituals that you are unfamiliar with is daunting. When I saw the program, I almost left because I simply knew I would freak out when it came time for me to participate. Anyway, I convinced myself after some considerable argument (I won) to stay on and be part of something new for me. As it turned out, it wasn’t a big deal and there really was nothing to fear. I won’t be afraid next time! I was quite proud of myself!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Adam! I’ve found myself doing a few things in Oz simply (well, maybe not *simply*) by telling myself to “do one thing!” It’s usually not easy, but you’re right — afterward it’s often “oh, hey, I DID THAT!”

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