I am hard on myself. I have high expectations of everyone, and higher still of myself. Most of the time, when I do things - really, anything - I debrief with myself about what I could have done better.
Races, could've run faster.
Workouts, could've given more.
Meals, could've been more balanced.
And songs sung? Every time - whether its's in Showcase or a musical or karaoke - I think I could've done better. Been more relaxed, held pitch better, connected with the audience more.
So imagine my surprise when I went to karaoke last Friday night to celebrate my friend Millie's birthday, and experience musical perfection at the end of the night.
We were having an absolute blast. Great women, great singers, supporting each other and just having a blast. Kathleen brought the house down with "Sweet Child O' Mine." Sherry did an incredible rendition of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Heidi wowed us with "My Immortal" and the birthday girl herself took no prisoners with "At Last." We aren't a competitive bunch; it's all good fun, to be honest, so it was really lovely to see everyone enjoying each others' performances. And that's what gave me the courage to sing Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love."
It's a tough song, and it was the end of the night - crapshoot time for me, because I was warmed up but might have been a little horse. But it didn't matter, because I was among friends. If it tanked, it would still be met with cheers.
It didn't tank.
I stood there, singing to the karaoke track, knowing I was experiencing lightening in a bottle. I was in this little bubble of rightness, letting the song flow from me in a way that was so real, so natural ... I almost made myself cry. I wasn't singing, I wasn't performing. I was simply feeing the song.
That's not to say that it was perfect. But the moment? The moment was. As I stood there, all my friends watching me, seeing heads turn at the bar, I knew I had something special.
And as quickly as it came, it was over ... but it's still part of me. This little corner of my soul, reserved for that moment, that song, those friends. That perfect moment when everything came together and music poured forth.