Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Susan Boyle

I don't usually comment on pop culture since I'm always behind or completely clueless, but the other day, someone sat me down to watch Susan Boyle's YouTube video. Since then, I've watched it no less than 30 times. Not only because Les Miserables is one one of my favorite musicals. Something about that lady standing in front of an eyeball-rolling audience and belting out her talent is strangely appealing. And watching the judges' faces transform.

There's a slightly righteous side of me that says, She showed them! Why do they even think appearances are correlated to singing? But a larger part of me feels so inspired by her. She could have told herself that she's 47, who cares to see some middle-aged woman sing, what are the odds of being discovered at this point, and why even bother? And fears of being judged by a hostile audience could have easily kept her at home.

If I were to project all my fears onto her, I could see myself ruing the years I had to spend looking after my mother, rebuking myself for letting the pounds creep on and for having passed up my youth. And I can easily imagine myself slowly caving into myself, forcing myself to accept that this is my lot in life, and becoming a little crotchety in the process.

Maybe in her private moments, she fretted about the years that passed - or the opportunities she missed. Maybe she had fears up to her ears. Maybe others had to cajole her to sign up for the audition. But whatever happened, she did it. And that is so damn inspiring. Good for her.


  1. I get goosebumps every time I watch it. The music. Her amazing voice. The fact that she just walks around with a talent like that. I'd be singing everywhere I went if I sounded like that. I would sing "Thaaaaank yooouuu" at the grocery store when they bagged my groceries if I had such a voice just sitting there in my throat, waiting to be used. Amazing.

  2. I felt the same way when I watched the video.

  3. Honestly it was one of those moments when I couldn't shake the feeling that sometimes it's never, ever too late to take a risk, a leap of faith. It wasn't her singing that got me as much as her willingness to be authentic. In a world full of shiny beautiful plastic things, glimmers of authenticity gives us hope that we too can be real. Despite the odds.