When growing up, I went to an art school. My two majors, or talents I should say, were singing and I played the violin.
Up until I was about 14 or 15 I was the quiet kid in class. Being in an art school, we would have these tests where we would have to get up and perform a piece of a song or sometimes even a whole song in front of the class. In choir, we called them “singing tests”. In orchestra, they were called “playing quizzes”.
Read more: Every Day is a Struggle with Anxiety
For the longest time, my anxiety would make me hold back. During my singing tests, I would sing so quietly, my teacher would have to actually lean forward into my face so he could hear me. I was always jealous of the other kids who could just belt out their parts.
Finally, once I hit junior high, so about 8th grade, I decided I was done with it. I got up there for my test and finally let everyone hear my real singing voice.
When the test was done, my teacher looked me right in the eyes and said “you’ve finally opened up and let everyone hear the amazing voice I knew you had and I’m so proud of you” and I almost started crying.
That was the best feeling I’ve ever experienced. I’ll never forget that day. Since then, of course, I still have anxiety. But I’ve started to open up more and more. I actually feel like I’m beating anxiety.