Sunday, September 17, 2006

The world has conspired to do me a very good turn.

One of my favorite things in this world is singing.

I am, admittedly, a depressive. It just happens to me, sometimes, and the habit of it sneaks back in on me before I can quite tell it's there. And when I get depressed, I get tired and complacent; I stop writing. I stop wanting to walk and romp and play. I stop singing.

Unfortunately, writing, walking, romping, playing, and singing are some of the best wards I have against depression. Thus begins a cycle, you see.

Now, I was encouraged to come join one of the local choirs, after I graduated. Other choir members, my Lover, my mom. . . It would keep me singing, it would give me some kind of post-partem structure, it would be fun, I'm good at it, etc. I couldn't/wouldn't afford tuition at my alma mater for one or two classes, so the Stanislaus choral ensembles were out, but MJC has one (and has low enough rates for their courses that it'd be affordable tuition), and Modesto has a Symphony Chorus that performs with their Symphony Orchestra. I didn't feel I had much hope for the latter, but I wondered. But they both meet evenings, once a week, up in Modesto.

In addition to being a depressive, I am also a little agoraphobic (can you be a little phobic of something? Is that paradoxical? If it's irrational and crimps your life, but maybe only comes on sometimes, or very particularly? In and out with the seasons?), which means I can't stand to leave home alone, most of the time, especially for unfamiliar surroundings. And I am anxious. And car-fearing. And road-fearing. Which means the prospect of driving to Modesto--alone, at night, in the season that will devolve into such thick fog I almost couldn't find my way to the freeway, the last time I tried it--is terrifying. And also means that I very gladly sent my Focus back down with my mother to LA for my brother to drive, and have not sought out insurance since I was removed from hers. Which furthermore means it would be illegal for me to drive, anyway--something that I find highly favorable, as it gives me a strong excuse not to do it. Sure, I have my moral objections to much car use, too, but I do understand that there is an element of "crutch" in there, somewhere, in inventing the system whereby facing my fears could put me in jail.

Anyway, given all of those little charmers in my personality, I declined to join any choir whatever in Spring. General self-doubt and fear of responsibility put in their two cents per, as well, to that end. And it frankly didn't look as though I would be joining one, soon.

That is, until Daniel, the choir director of both the Stanislaus choirs I had been in and the Modesto Symphony Chorus I didn't think I probably ought audition for, ran out on his meal when he saw me from a cafe window to call after me, catch me, tell me I should come sing for him in the Modesto Symphony Chorus I hadn't thought I should audition for, and (since I'd be unable to get there on my own, as Chris has a night class at the same time) even offer me a ride with him and another few of us here in Turlock every Monday to get there and back.



No driving? No driving.

Familiar persons.

Once a week, when I wouldn't have Chris home, anyway.

A virtual demand that I keep a sort of schedule (a plus in fending off depression), interact with other human beings (another plus in fending off depression), and sing, goddamnit, sing (etc.)?

I didn't have to do anything. I didn't even have to come up with the motivation or confidence to go seek it out. This FELL INTO MY LAP. We were just out walking to pick up milk, cilantro, and rice noodles. And you know I was still trying to come up with some reason I couldn't.

But I failed gloriously.

So, as of tomorrow, I'm going to start spending Monday night singing. I will be terrified, self-doubtful, shy, anxious, and probably guilty if I can manage to work it in somehow. I know that because I'm already working on it. But it's free therapy for all of the above.

I will also be thrilled, excited, exalted, enriched, and invigorated. And I'll get a boost to the old self-confidence. I know that, because I'm already working on those, too.

I am moved. I am disproportionately flattered and generally overwhelmed. I feel very silly, and very happy, and very sheepish. And I am duly surprised that I can still hit the G an octave and a half above middle C pretty reliably, because I wasn't exactly operating under the assumption that I'd be going to join an operatic chorus, rather than just continuing to sing folk songs in my living room.

Och, I have a lot of practicing to do. But that is wonderful.