When Talent's Not Enough

One of my earliest memories is of my foot stomping the ground. Continually I press my Velcro shoe into the carpet in indiscriminate rythmn. The sound of my brothers fingers banging on a colorful plastic piano filled the space around me. And there Amongst the noise , my foot and my brothers fingers,  came a different sound.  This sound started in my gut and traveled up. Up it went, resonating in my chest and being forced out beyond my lips. I was singing. Really yelling to the tones of that plastic piano, much to our Sunday School teachers dismay.  
As far back as I can reach in my mind, I cannot remember a time I didn't yearn to sing. I'm not sure if it's the actual feeling of making sound with my body, if that's the case I'm sure there's tons noises I could make (barf). Or maybe it's the praise of others that I seek. Maybe I learned at a young age that people were pleased by what I could do, and being the people pleaser I am I continued.  Whatever positive reinforcement there was, definitely met equal negative reinforcement.
All of my older siblings (I have 5 total) can remember a time, or several, that they have been woken up at ungodly hours by none other than preteen David BELTING the roof off our paper thin, tiny home.  At some point it became such a problem, to this day I'm not aware that I'm doing it. I'll just be sitting at home alone and realize half way through an episode of The Crown that I've been singing My Heart Will Go On for a solid thirty minutes. It's a musical type of Tourette's, a tic that even I wanted to, couldn't be cured.
At some point I turned the noise into sound, pleasant sound. And heres the part of the blog most would feel uncomfortable talking about, we've come to the point in talking about oneself that I have to be honest about something. I am talented.
And yes I know that most people think that they have a nice singing voice. We learned a lot of lessons from the audition episodes of American Idol. Sometimes people (your friends, and family) lie to you and say that you are good in something you aren't. But rest assured, I know what I can do.
I remember hearing my mom, through those paper thin walls, one night really discussing whether voice lessons were something they should pursue for my brother and I. I hadn't asked, and you could tell in her voice how serious she was. You could hear in her voice the struggle of recognizing your own child's potential and having no means to support that.
Eventually she would push my brother and I to do choir and theatre, and she remains the strongest hand of applause I'll receive in a crowd. 
I sang in school choirs, church choirs, church bands, honor choirs, talent contests, funerals, weddings, theaters, any where that would have me. I won awards and lost awards. And my 17 year old brain thought "So this is it, this is what I am going to do."
Around this time I also started to date. Boys. I always knew this would come as a heavy pill to swallow for some. What I didn't plan for was losing an outlet. The church I sang at twice a week, no longer wanted me to sing there. In fact they wanted to counsel me. For me to take a break. Losing that outlet stifled my spirit, shook my faith, and silenced my voice.  I was devastated.
That devastation bled through my life. My once dreams of continuing music education in college, I shelved. I turned down directors from schools that ASKED me to come. And I chose the practical, logical route: nursing school. 
I was afraid.
Today is different. I do sing now. I sing at church with friends that are great musicians who think I'm great. I sing again at events and weddings, but it's not the center of my life as 17 year old me hoped it would be.
I lost the one thing that pushes talent to opportunity: ambition. 
My friends, the musicians, they never stopped stoking the fire. They are successful in their work and in there lives because they strived for that. I let someone take the platform out from underneath me, and my fire went out.
Sometimes it takes more than being the best. It takes intent, aim, a dream you target and manifest until it is you're own reality. Because once it's real to you others can recognize it. They can view you for what you are and what you strive to be.  They can hear sound of your shoes stomping the preverbal ground in your Velcro shoes.
They hear ambition.