Once upon a time I was young. I had energy and my body was sound – so sound in fact, that when I was in my early 20’s I began training to go into body-building competition.
But life happens, as so often occurs, and while I looked the part of a champion…or at least a contender…I just hadn’t the time to pursue that particular dream, what with three small children. I didn’t stop training, I only let the dream of competing go.
Once upon a time I had the opportunity to chase another dream: to sing. I was, at first, the female lead singer around which a rock band was formed. Although the band didn’t even last long enough to gain an official name, I did make my one and only demo record during the experience.
After that band went “kerpoot!” I jammed with a number of country western bands throughout our town and finally helped start The Country Classics in St. Petersburg, Florida, back in the mid-1970’s…again, lead female singer. We gained a moderate following and more than once I was invited to guest sing either backup, harmony or duets with a number of other bands.
I had a blast.
Once upon a weekend when we were performing, another band came into the bar. They approached us early on, saying that they had heard I was one of the best performers of Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in the area. I don’t know about ‘one of the best’, but I was never able to leave the stage without at least 3 encores of that song, so yeah, I guess I was good. I could mimic that song like I was Loretta herself.
As it happened, that band was part of Loretta’s entourage and they were looking for a replacement singer to open for her on tour that summer…and they asked me, but they had to have an answer by the following day.
Having inherited my voice from her, the first person I called was Mama. She was thrilled, and more than happy to keep my daughters while I followed my dream, at least for the summer.
My husband at the time, lead male vocals and bass guitarist, said, “Is there a place for me?” There was not. They wanted my voice, but they already had their band. He never congratulated me, never said he was proud of me. He just pouted. But he was my husband, and I felt it wrong to choose this opportunity over him.
But they wanted me! I had that recognition! In my mind, I had made it, whether I followed through or not. I declined, but with profuse gratitude. I came away from that experience standing much taller than my 5’2″ stature dictated.
There have been so many more dreams that I followed, once upon a time, but for whatever reason, few ever reached fruition as a career. Even so, I have succeeded at all of them…just like reaching the level it took to be invited to tour with Loretta Lynn.
And now I write. I’m no best seller, but I know I have talent. And if I never sell more follow-up novels than the 50 copies of the precursor, Folded Dreams – the Beginning, sold, I will still feel I’ve succeeded.
Once upon a time I dreamed of writing a book, and having writ…no regrets.