Saturday, January 25, 2020

Dreaming and Idols

I sort of had a rough childhood.  I mark it as before my mother's death and after my mother's death.  There is a marked difference between each era.  I'm such a dreamer and I learned to dream vividly.  I wanted to be a singer.  I dreamed of being famous and singing everywhere.  I needed such validation. I had this friend from high school.  Her name is Abby.  I lost track of her.  She would tell me that I was obsessed, and I was.  When "Mr. Jones" would come on the radio by the Counting Crows, she would tell me that this song was about me.

I would write songs and poems constantly.  I would keep a diary with my future audience in mind.  I believed that it would chronicle my rise to stardom.  I was the next Debbie Gibson or Mariah Carey.  I didn't give up this dream easily.  Instead of studying I would write lyrics.  I would think up melodies.  I'm not even that good of a singer.  I would use the pain of losing my mother to write.  It was so much easier to write when I was in misery and pain.  I would abandon my thoughts and my angst when I was happy, or when I was in love.  When I was happy, I would miss my creative outlet.  I would miss all of the thoughts and words that would come from the dark places.  I was a fickle, happy girl with a sadness in the frenzy I would create.  It was better living my my dreams and my future than actually feeling the immense loss of losing my mother.  I leaned on God and hoped for a good future.

When I met my husband, the first day, I went with him to a rap battle.  He was a rapper.  I sang for him on some of his tracks.  I waited to tell him that I sang.  He found out soon enough.  I would sing for my college and he would be in the front row listening.  Singing was my ace in the hole.  You could look down on me but I had a talent.  I could sing.  I would audition for shows, movies and musicals.  I met my friend, Haja while waiting to audition for Rent.  When "American Idol" came out, I was one year too old to audition.  It broke my heart.  I would pray for stardom the way that you would pray for food, air, or water.  It was an idol.

One day I woke up and I heard it very clearly.  "I never meant for you to be a singer."  I remember going to Santi and telling him.  He had given up on his rap dream before I gave up on my dream of singing.  When I told him he nodded.  The dream was over.  A peace came to me.  I thought it would depress me but it didn't.  I prayed for purpose.  I wanted to do anything but be a teacher.  I'm laughing now.  All of the career assessments, all of the suggestions; all of it pointed to teaching.  I didn't want to hear it.  I was like the Israelites in the desert.  I was Jonah in the belly of the whale.  I fell into teaching, kicking and screaming.

These days, every now and again, I will sing at church.  I'm glad that they let me.  I get to sing.  You have no idea the mercy that this is.  On Sundays, I go to church and I get to sing to a celestial audience.  I imagine my voice sounding off key like the voice of a child to God.  Every now and again, I cry.  There is no better feeling than leaving it all at the feet of Jesus, right?

These days, I do hear something.  I hear, "Write."  I thought there was something wrong when all of the words first came.  Now I just think about all the words that I have before me.  I will write.  This time, I am not running away from the pain of loss.  I allow myself to feel it.  I allow the emotions to wash over me like a river.  I ask myself questions.  In this stillness, I feel too much.  The silence can be too loud.  So, then I find the songs and I sing.  I sing in the pain. and then every now and again I write.  I'm not trying to have any idols to escape anything.  Instead I am trusting God.
Singing at Church

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