I was preparing for Sunday Service at my family’s church as I had done times before. The speakers were ready, the microphones were in place. All that was missing were the chairs, and it was then that I realized we only had a handful of them scattered around the room. Definitely not enough for the next morning. Frustrated, I began pacing around because of how unprofessional everything looked.
How could I forget one of the most important details? Why wasn’t anyone else worried about this?
I eventually released some steam and sat down for a moment. Soon after I heard a voice say, “If you want more, then you have to prepare for more.”
And then I woke up.
I consider myself a dreamer, perhaps more of a daydreamer; so this vivid vision and audible voice awakened me from more than just sleep. It awakened me spiritually as I believe it was one of the first times I realized that I was hearing from God.
During that time I was nearing peak dissatisfaction with my life. Each day I felt like I was born for so much more than jobs I dreaded and a bank account statement that didn’t match my taste in food. Weekend bottomless brunches add up over time, you know.
There was something about the voice that resonated with me deeply. At first I brushed it off as a random dream, much like the others I occasionally have. Like the time I dreamt I introduced my new “boyfriend” 2 Chainz to my God-fearing grandparents. But then it finally clicked. If I want more out of life, then I need to prepare for what I’m asking for. (more…)
I used to think that forgiveness took place like the ending of a Full House episode; that those who hurt you would humbly arrive with soft acoustic music and a heartfelt apology. Then after a corny joke and a hug you both feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But reality has a way of teaching you that forgiveness and closure don’t exactly happen like a wholesome family sitcom. Instead it is a tug-of-war between you and whatever experience led you to the grudge in your heart.
My dad once said that, “Forgiveness is giving up your right to retaliate.”
And yes that includes ceasing to throw shade or post subliminal memes on Instagram.
I once believed that I was in the clear considering I was never the aggressive confrontational type to begin with. At the bare minimum, I can be kinda petty. Like the time my sister Jessie left me a measly portion of the dinner she cooked; so I decided to not eat it at all, just to ”make a statement.”
I came to realize that although my hurt wasn’t manifested in blatant retaliation, it was still festering beneath the surface. And when it didn’t manifest itself in the form of internal anger, it still produced a seemingly hopeless desire for that Full House ending. (more…)
Whether it was helping me ignore cat-callers on the streets of NYC or cheering me on through a tedious day at work, music has always been there for me. Even beyond my daily routine, music has accompanied me during some of the brightest and the darkest times in my life. And throughout each season I’ve had a series of anthems, a soundtrack you could say, to keep me moving. During this particular time of my life the theme appears to be centered around the pursuit of my dreams and God-given purpose/calling. The songs I have on heavy rotation motivate me and awaken a sense of joyful expectation even in the midst of bitter discouragement. (more…)
When you’re an artist you discover that support is crucial if you plan to turn your passion into a career. Sure, you can find an abundance of love and support from any number of family and close friends, but the backing of those who can truly empathize with the struggle of honing your craft is particularly special.
They just get it. And they get it because they’ve walked the proverbial mile in your shoes.
But beyond that, they provide more than mere understanding. A community of creative, likeminded people serve as an incubator, assisting you in the hatching of your abilities. This is why I believe that all writers, painters, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc., should make an effort to devote quality time to be in the presence of a creative community; if for no other reason than to chat over a latte or brunch. And in doing so, you will find that… (more…)
When I found you, I lost myself.
And when you were long gone, well, so was I.
I yearned for you strongly and without hesitation.
It was a deep desire incapable of being ignored or tuned out. Refraining had been removed from my understanding
like a page being torn from Webster’s.
I dove right into the deep end of a disastrous romance,
not realizing the potential dangers that lingered beneath the surface.
Once I was under, there was no coming up
no matter how much I clawed at the water above me.
I was drowning in infatuation
and you were the cement blocks causing me to sink. (more…)
This morning I said a prayer. It wasn’t filled with the usual laundry list of things I need God to fix for me, like my checking account balance or my increasing temper on the NYC Subway.
Instead, I said a prayer much like the ones I recited as a child. I prayed for peace.
I asked God for the joy that was promised to come in the morning, and not another news headline about senseless violence at the hands of hateful individuals. I also asked for compassion and empathy in the hearts of those who turn their attention away from those who are hurting.
At times I miss the days, especially before social media, where perhaps ignorance was bliss and some people had a bit of mystery to them; when you didn’t know a coworker’s opposing political stance, or that your high school classmate was a bigot all along. (more…)