There are two traits that I admire in people. Actually, that’s not quite accurate; I admire many things in people but there are two primary traits that I truly enjoy. One of them is charisma, which I consider to be a natural extension of self confidence. Not all self confident people are charismatic but most charismatic people are self confident. Let’s face it, some people are over confident. I don’t mind a touch of cocky (and we all know that I don’t mind a dash of arrogance) but I don’t care for self absorption or assholishness. Charisma though, that makes me swoon.
The other trait that I admire in a person is a lack of inhibition. I enjoy people that feel the freedom to do their own thing without reservation. It’s a trait I wish I had but in the back of my mind there’s something, though I can’t identify what it is, always holding me back even if it’s just a little bit. My throttle is usually at 3/4 power, sometimes I ramp up to 7/8 but I rarely cruise at full speed.
I don’t know why I have this touch of inhibition residing in my makeup. I’ve analysed it six ways from Sunday for the past 40 years but have never figured out where it comes from. I guess that’s not entirely accurate either, there are certain events in my past that hit home: in grade six I was described as “weird” by a couple of classmates. They said that after I performed in a school production of Battlestar Galactica. I guess I took “alien” too close to heart or something. I don’t know why that bothers me, I am odd. Today I celebrate that. But once in a while I have that little barrier I put up to keep my psyche safe.
I have a friend who used to perform in various talent shows in the area. Her singing voice is good; she can carry a note, she can stay within the key of the song and she has a good sense of rhythm. Would she make it on a Broadway stage? No. But when she gets up there and does her thing she puts every single drop of effort she has into her performance. I admire that. I always hold off just a bit. “What if they don’t like me?” Perhaps I’m afraid of failing and reliving that moment when I sang my heart out for a recital in college and I was told that I would never make it as a singer. I think my performance inhibition comes from that battle scar. I should strive to move beyond that.
Tonight I found myself singing Abba tunes as we left the theatre at the end of “Mamma Mia”. I started singing softly and slowly but surely I sang loud enough for the large group of elderly women to hear me. I didn’t want to intrude in anyway, I wanted to express my joy from the movie through song. And so I sang. No one said a word, good or bad.
I took that as a compliment.