Last night, I performed at the Alma Café – a lovely, intimate music venue in Rosebank. This was the first time I have performed at a professional gig for more years than I can remember.
Although I was nervous, I had an amazing time. I felt proud and pleased –so much more confident about standing up in public than I have ever been. Why? Because two years ago, to the day, I had gastric bypass surgery. To date, I have lost 70 kg.
This has been the most incredible journey for me. It took me a long time to decide to have the operation – and a lot of research. Now, I wish I had done it sooner …but we all work at our own pace!
I cannot describe the way I felt when the audience stood and applauded. I felt overwhelmed; but I also felt thrilled, excited, energised (and not just because it was over and I had got through it!) If you had told me that I would be singing in front of an audience feeling really comfortable I would never have believed it! I’ve always been a singer – but I used to sing in ‘safe’ places, like friends’ weddings, or at private soirees. This was different. This was a paying audience – and they had come to see me!
Has the journey been easy? Not all the time, no. There have been challenges (both physical and psychological) along the way. But it has been the most extraordinary time. It’s been quite a steep learning curve: I’ve got to learn to like myself, to accept praise, to adjust to ‘normal’, to deal with attention and to trust this process.
But last night, when I stood on that stage, I realised that I have come a long way. And that felt good.