When we think that no one is watching, our true selves come out. Our silly comes to the forefront and our freak flags fly high. Everyone has those secret behaviors that they only show when they think they are alone. Do you like who you are when you think no one is watching?
I was soaking in the nice weather cruising down 315 with my windows down and my sunroof open when “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” came on the radio. I was gleefully singing along, having my own personal rock opera, when it dawned on me that I was at a red light and people were staring. I would like to say that I was cool enough to continue singing along, but instead I was mortified. I closed the windows and refused to make eye contact with anyone around me. This had to be the longest red light of my life. Finally, it turned green and I sped off into the sunset away from my concert goers.
In the following days, I started observing the behavior of those around me in other cars. There were nose pickers, burger eaters, hair brushers, cell phone talkers, fellow concert singers, texters, back up dancers and the occasional crier. The solitude of your car is comforting for releasing your emotions. Unfortunately, you are in a glass house and your secret, solitary behaviors are on full display like an animal at the zoo.
Why couldn’t I just be comfortable singing along? Why did I let others’ opinions turn me into a clam, when moments before I was blissfully confident having my superstar moment on stage? Sometimes we need our solitude to feel comfortable in our own skin. I can’t be that girl when someone is watching. I let my own fears keep me off the karaoke stage. I have to be completely comfortable with someone to even car sing when they’re in the car.
When no one is watching, I hit notes and sing on key (I think) and I am confident that I could get a record deal (as long as I can be recorded in my car all alone). When someone else is present, my nerves get in the way. I squeak and quietly follow along to the words. There are no rock star moments. I want to be that girl when someone else is around. I have tried. I just can’t do it. I get in my own way.
So there is my secret solo behavior. I’m a car singer. I suppose things could be worse (sorry nose pickers). But it is something I would love to work on. I think it would be a great confidence builder. Also, reaching a comfort level with car singing could possibly help my general anxiety about public speaking.
Should our secret behaviors stay behind closed doors? I suppose that depends on what that behavior is. If you like the person you are when no one is watching, you should consider bringing her out in the daylight. If you like her, chances are the rest of the world will too. So who wants to give me an in-car recording deal?
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.