You know that scene from Jerry Maguire, where Tom Cruise is giving his best rendition of ‘free falling’ while cruising (the irony!) down the freeway.
Well, this is me on almost every school run, except it's not so likely to be Tom Petty who unleashes the bad-singing beast, as it is the climax of ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper!
The more I think about these moments of uninhibited abandon, the more I’m utterly convinced that everyone needs at least one of them every day. Without exception.
Because in the judgement-free confines of one’s car, a precious freedom exists to channel an entirely different version of self. A performer. An extrovert.
In these moments, I AM Lady Gaga…just without the voice. Or the piano. Or Bradley Cooper, of course. None of that really registers, though, when the only real measure of authenticity (let alone singing ability) is your own somewhat biased ear!
In the realms of health justifications for this habit, I find they are several, and mostly owing to that unique 'magic' which unfolds in these brief, fleeting moment of wantonness, where the boundaries of selfhood and composure can be safely flexed!
It’s a magic that not only detracts from the droll of traffic and repetition (four times a day, 5 days a week, covering the same stretch of tarmac!) but also - and perhaps even more importantly - acts as an antidote to apathy.
I often find, the buzz of a good old belt-out can be felt long after the track has ended. The endorphins and dissolution of inhibitions seem to spill over into the proceeding minutes, and maybe even hours!
It shows up most in the subtle straightening of the shoulders. The slight picking up of usually-dragging feet. The tell-tale hoarseness of voice, which can just as easily be interpreted as as a high-note... nailed, as it can a therapeutic outlet well exercised.