Was I completely mad? All the doubts I'd had about what I was doing began to resurface as I walked down the road I used to take to school towards a challenge that was more daunting than anything I'd ever faced before. The comments my brothers and sisters had made at Christmas, when I told them I'd got an audition for Britain's Got Talent, kept repeating in my head. 'Do you know what they do on Britain's Got Talent? They laugh at you! They boo you! They buzz you! Can you take all that?'

'If you put yourself in the arena, you've got to take the chance, haven't you?' I'd defended myself.

'Oh my God! Don't go there! Not with that Piers Morgan!'

'Just leave it,' I'd told them.

'Well, don't be surprised if you don't get through.'

'Thanks for your faith in me. Smashing people, you!'

I'd stuck up for myself all right, but inside I'd been thinking, 'Oh my God! What have I done?'

As I hurried along, dodging puddles and potholes, half of me was wanting to turn back to the safety of my nice warm home and the other half was desperate not to miss the bus. When I reached the main road, the bus was nearer to the stop than I was and I had to run like mad, which is not easy with cold, wet feet in three-inch heels. The doors opened with a hiss and I climbed on, my chest heaving, face pink, and my hair plastered down under my scarf. 'Well,' I thought to myself, sinking gratefully into my seat. 'My worries are over now.'

The bus from Blackburn took me into Glasgow, where I had to change and get another bus to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), an enormous complex of halls in the middle of the city beside the River Clyde. The rush-hour traffic was building now and the bus wasn't making much progress. I kept looking at my watch, then out of the window. I could see the conference centre in the distance, but it seemed to be inching further away, not closer. It suddenly dawned on me that I was on the wrong bus and I had to push through the crowds to get off. I got on the next one that came along, but that was going in a different direction as well.

Now I was beginning to panic. Calm down, Susan. I told myself the logical thing to do was cross the road and take a bus going the other way.

'There's plenty of time.' the bus driver told me.

'There's not!'

'The world's not going to blow up.'

'It's OK for you, but I've got an audition to go to!'

He gave me a look.

It was lucky I had a bus pass because I travelled on six buses that morning before I finally arrived!

There was a queue outside and a young lad next to me was shivering in a short-sleeved shirt. 'I tried for The X Factor,' he said, 'but I got nowhere.'

'Well, never mind,' I told him. 'Perhaps you'll do better in this.'

Then the doors opened and everyone cheered. As we all went in, there was a great banner saying 'Welcome to Britain's Got Talent!'

The letter I had received about my audition said it was at 9.30 and I was there by 9.30, just, but the lassie at reception looked at her list, her eyes running up and down several times before she said that she hadn't got me down for the 9.30 audition. She suggested I go home and come back later. 'And go through all that rigmarole with the buses again?' I protested. 'You've got to be kidding!'

'Well, you'll have to wait in the holding room,' she said, looking at me warily. 'We'll try to fit you in. But it may be some time,' she warned, as she handed me my number.
Excerpted from The Woman I Was Born to Be by Susan Boyle (Copyright © 2010 by Atria Books: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.)


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