She loved to steal chocolate chips from the kitchen cupboard when she thought her mom wasn't looking, she loved to get her little brothers into trouble, and she loved to jump rope like a maniac.
She also loved to sing.
In addition to that love for singing, she also had the ridiculous belief that if no one could see her, no one could hear her either. So she would go out into her backyard, climb up onto the swing her (ultra awesome) dad had set up for her, and pump back and forth and back and forth.
And while she pumped her stubby little legs through the air, she sang.
She imagined herself to be Christine from The Phantom of the Opera. So, naturally, she sang the kind of opera that the Angel of Music himself could be proud of. And probably could hear, too, all the way from Broadway.
The little girl continued to imagine that none of the neighbors could hear her, and that Mom and Dad especially couldn't hear her through the sliding glass back door.
The little girl has always had a problem thinking that her version of reality applied to everyone (But let's be real here, my version of reality is way better than real reality. Real reality is lame compared to the awesome sauce that happens in my head).
As she grew up, the little girl knew that show business was no place for her. The life she wanted did not include Hollywood. But sometimes it still slipped into her daydreams.
High school meant spending afternoons rehearsing dance numbers and show tunes onstage. It meant singing to the beautiful trees of New Hampshire under her breath (because she finally realized people can, and do, hear her when she sings loudly enough). It meant participating in choir concerts. It meant using her new driver's license as an excuse to play music from Wicked at a ridiculous decibel level in the car. It meant pretending she was Elphaba and that it was completely normal for her to belt out crazy ideas about defying gravity to the steering wheel.
This girl still loves to sing. Any of the 22 roommates she's lived with during the past 4 years of college could easily tell you that. She's recently started teaching herself to play the guitar, and wrote her first ever plausible song last semester.
And sometimes, when her roommates are all out doing whatever it is that roommates do when they leave the apartment, that little girl who is not so little anymore pulls out the guitar, sits up on the arm of the sofa, and sings her heart out.
Secretly she still dreams of performing, of getting the vocal training she would need to be successful, of showing the world what she's made of. Secretly she can be Christine if she wants.
But you know what? Singing all alone, just me and my guitar... that's all I need.
One day, I want to have one of my books published. That is one reality in my head that I can make a real reality. One reality that gives me the future I'm hoping for.
Until that day, though, I'll take a break from the monotony of life and sing like nobody's listening.
(Me as the tin man my senior year of high school. Hey, it's almost Elphaba, right?)