My best friend has a beautiful voice. When she sings, it’s as if the clouds have opened up on a rainy day and suddenly the sun is shining. Everybody, strangers and acquaintances alike, always stops whatever they are doing to listen to her angelic voice. Being the best friend of an angelic voice is not easy. As a child, I was always the inferior one, the less perfect one. It didn’t help that she was aware of her superiority and exercised it at all times. When we played, she was always the princess and I was always her maid, she was always the hero and I was always the sidekick. Growing up in her shadow, I was always too afraid to stand up to her, too afraid to sing. When I tried to sing along with her, my voice sounded like a discordant organ in comparison to her flutelike voice.
I eventually stopped singing in public altogether, only allowing myself to sing in the shower where nobody else could hear me. Whenever she sang, I sat there, mute, and just waited for her to finish, never joining in. I had little to no self-confidence, not just vocally but in all other aspects of my life as well. I was too afraid of rejection to voice my opinions, my thoughts, my feelings, even to my best friend.
To make up for my lack of vocal ability, I took up piano, guitar, and violin. Learning three instruments, I inevitably developed a deep love for music. When I hit high school, I was asked to join our church’s worship team and gladly accepted. My musical versatility was very useful, except for the fact that I refused to sing.
One day during worship practice we were taking a break, and everybody else had left the room. I was there alone with my guitar, so naturally I began to play and sing quietly to myself. I didn’t notice when one of my team members came in and I kept playing obliviously. When I finished the song, I looked up to see him standing in front of me. He remarked that I had quite a good voice and should sing for the team or join the choir. A bit confused, I bashfully thanked him and wondered if he was being sincere or not. When everybody else came back, he insisted that I sing for the rest of the team. They all agreed with his assertions as well. I reluctantly began singing for worship, still believing that my voice was subpar.
After a few months of exposure, I slowly began to gain confidence in both my voice and myself. I started to sing in public again, although it could have been either because I was more confident in myself or just didn’t care about what others thought anymore. When others tell me that I have a beautiful voice and that they wish that they could sing, I reassure them and tell them, don’t worry, I believe everybody can sing.