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
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