I remember the first time I sang in front of people. I was thirteen years old auditioning for the Colgate Country Showdown. The first song I sang was “Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter, and the second song I sang was “He Gets That From Me” by Reba McEntire. I remember when the audio guy handed me the microphone to sing “Strawberry Wine”….I was extremelly terrified and didn’t want to disappoint the big crowd that was watching me. However, when I started singing the terror ended and I felt SOmuch happiness… I didn’t want to stop singing! I had a confidence that I had never experienced before and the passion I felt inside my body was overwhelming. I got 7th place that year auditioning for Showdown and the following summer I got 3rd place. Music became a huge part of my life.
Soon after that, I started singing at events in my hometown. I was even in a musical where I was Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music.” I loved performing in front of people. At the age of 15 I learned how to play the guitar (during my Christmas vacation from school), and started putting music to the songs that I had written. I started recording my songs in a little miniature recording studio that was in the spare bedroom of my parents’ house. I then started singing my own songs when I would perform at places. When I moved away to college I continued performing at talent shows, banquets, and different events.
Then it all stopped. I don’t really know what specifically happened to make it all stop. One day I just put my guitar away and didn’t get it out again for a long time. During this time when I wasn’t playing the guitar or singing, I felt this emptiness inside of me. I knew something was missing, but I wasn’t for sure what it was. I wasn’t aware that one of the biggest driving forces in my life was singing and songwriting. My first blog post on this website was even about my love for music: Imagination
So what had happened? Why did I stop? Why do any of us stop doing the things we love?
A couple months ago I picked up my guitar and started playing again. That emptiness inside of me became a little less and a feeling of joy filled that emptiness. The same feeling of joy that I had singing “Strawberry Wine” when I was thirteen years old.
We are all wired differently and we all have something in our lives that we are passionately driven to do. Find what that is in your life and don’t let that go.
I am not performing in front of thousands of people every week…or making millions of dollars in record sales…I don’t even have a record to sell…but I’m still singing and songwriting. Why? Because I have always been passioinately driven to do so. My life is a little bit happier with music. : )
I don’t think of myself as a role model. I do try to live in a compassionate, considerate and positive way. The only advice I can offer is to find what you love to do, find the joy in it, and express yourself through your passion.
-Be Fervently DrivenAmie Hope