A few days ago I found out that my old high school singing group was having a 50th anniversary event. (See https://news.yahoo.com/ledyard-carolers-embark-50th-season-013500733.html for a local news bit).
I had about 8 hours to think about it and decide if I was going to go. Ultimately, I opted not to. Not because I didn’t want to (Part of me still does), but because I’m not that person any more, and the long drive and the high ticket price were hard to justify.
Saying I’m not that person anymore is hard. Because I had a lot of ego (the definitional version, not egotistical version) wrapped up. As a kid, I moved a lot and wasn’t good at much besides ‘being smart’. I started singing in 6th grade because I was bored in math class and it got me out twice a week, and enjoyed it, but until high school it was just a thing you did or didn’t do, from my perspective. But as a freshman in high school I tried out and made it in to a small auditioned ensemble. It turned out that singing was one of the things that I was good at, -really- good at (I am really good, but not great, at a number of things. I have a life defined by not being great at things).
And it was a lot of fun. For three years it was a lot of fun. (I didn’t make it in Junior year, and that was a bit of a crisis let me say). And I kept singing through college and after college. (And when I was let go from my semi-pro group in my mid 20’s it was another bit of crisis….)
I still sing tons of holiday music. It is still some of my favorites stuff. And I often sing the bass line or the tenor line, and not the melody. But I haven’t lived in the area for 20+ years, and haven’t gone to any of the groups concerts or even to the Seaport Carolers event much at all in that time. It was two or three musical directors ago. Half the repertoire is new. And I haven’t done rehearsed singing in years. I have tons of fond memories, but I don’t feel that I belong there any more. Who I am is not who I was, and sometimes, you can’t go back.