After my husband died, one thing I found really difficult was holidays. Maybe that sounds ridiculous – holidays are supposed to be fun. But I’d got used to going away with Peter and doing holidays in a particular way, and suddenly everything had to be renegotiated.
- Was I brave enough to go away on my own?
- Which of the things we used to do together could I do solo?
- Could I go away with someone else, and if so, who?
- And could we agree on when and where and what?
- And what if we wanted to do different things while we were away – did we have to be joined at the hip?
I found it really hard.
Eventually I found a weekend away singing Gilbert and Sullivan songs, which I thought might be fun, and let me meet people who liked some of the things I do, and wasn’t too long if I absolutely hated it…
So far so good. Then I got an email to say that the weekend I’d booked had been cancelled. Grrrr… now what?
Gilbert & Sullivan – A Sign?
I tend to vent to a few really good friends. One of the friends I ranted at about this goes regularly to a musical theatre summer school, and that year one of their productions was Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. It seemed meant to be.
But this wasn’t just singing round a piano, it was a proper performance, and it was 8 days with people I didn’t know (apart from my friend), working really hard. I used to do a lot of acting a long time before, though, and the memories of how much I’d enjoyed that, even though I hadn’t done it for a while, resurfaced. Reader, I booked…
One of the scariest things was auditioning. I didn’t have to – I could just have been part of the chorus – but I thought if I was going to do this I might as well get the full experience. I’d done a bit of preparation with a singing teacher, but it was still terrifying – but to my surprise I got a part!
Guess what? I absolutely loved it!
I got to spend time with my friend, the others were lovely (my Facebook friends doubled afterwards), and it felt as though I’d reconnected with part of my past – part of me – that I’d loved and lost contact with. I loved it so much that I found a local theatre society to join, and performing there and at the summer school has let me meet some amazing people, and has been one of the things that’s brought me the most joy in the last few years – it lets me dance, and sing, and play, and get applause.
Facing Your Fears
Facing your fears can bring you joy in ways you might never have imagined, and lead you to meet some totally brilliant people. Of course it can be hard, but there are things you can do to make it easier – for me, it helped to go with a good friend that first time. If it can bring you something you want, or it helps you to connect with someone or something great, please think about it.
If you’d like help in deciding whether to do something, and what might make it easier, contact me and we’ll talk.
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