A fourth-grade choir audition changed my life. On a whim, I tried out for my elementary school’s select choir, and to the amazement of my mom, I made it. She had good reason to be shocked. I was extremely shy. In fact, for years I refused to talk — in school, at restaurants, but also to important people in my like grandparents. If someone asked me a question, I would cover my mouth with my hand and just stare. Speaking terrified me. Whenever I had something to say my arms would tingle, and I’d feel frozen, unable to drag the words from my brain to my mouth.

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