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the Journey to Joy

1.20.15 - 2:09 am
The range of emotions I experience in one day is mind-boggling and disturbing. I've gotten to the point where I shed no tears. I think my body is over that...for now. My smiles are met with sorrow. My great audition counters a relationship setback. Enemies outnumber friends, and that quest for happiness becomes elusive. My daily assessment of myself? I must be bipolar. And this happiness thing? ... My mom says, "happiness is fleeting" and that finding joy is the real journey. Thus, I commence:

My extreme moments of joy are mostly connected to music. Writing music, arranging a dope rendition of an old 60's song, lyric painting, and rehearsals for church choirs and bands. In fact, my church life has been my greatest joy since my return to New York City. There's no greater feeling than walking into the sanctuary of First Corinthian Baptist Church, on a cold Tuesday afternoon, and hanging out for 2 hours with some awesome pastors and congregants. The euphoric feeling of leading worship at Renaissance Church, just blocks away from FCBC, is almost breathtaking, and not just because I love God and Jesus so much; My church lives have become my family, and more importantly, I'm finally doing what I love--music and walking with God. Worshipping has transformed me as it has shifted from a hobby to a necessity. Multiple times a day, I ponder this strange calling God has placed on my life.

To be honest, I've known about this divine assignment for almost two and a half years. I always say that God called me and I sent him to voicemail. I'm like that disgusting boyfriend that doesn't return texts in a timely fashion. My involvement in the two faith communities in Harlem happened by some miraculous maneuvering of God--some obscenely clever move of pawns on the chessboard that is my life. I went from hating church and questioning the relevance of God and my worth to God, to gladly having to schedule which Sunday's I'm serving at each church. My calendar is marked with some kind of church activity 4-5 days a week--bible studies, community service, business meetings--and I've never been happier. It's a brilliant "problem" to have, two faith communities that love me and I, them.

Recently, I've been writing a lot. And reading a lot. The music has been flowing and I finally feel like I've found my niche as a singer-songwriter...in CHRISTIAN music! If you would've told me 10 years ago I'd be writing contemporary Christian and gospel music, I would've surely laughed in your face. I was absolutely on my way to becoming the next Quincy Jones, or Janet Jackson...or Alicia Keys. I still write and perform secular music and most of my catalog, published and unpublished, is secular; but I never thought I'd be here, leading worship, playing the piano IN CHURCH, and applying for Christian music conferences, fellowships, and seminars. God is truly a comedian.

This "life" thing takes us on twists and turns, like the roller-coaster ride of my brain that manifests itself through my varying emotions. I've been on a mission to rediscover joy and I think I may have found an open door. Or maybe I finally opened the door...or answered the call...or returned the text. I'm learning to be okay with range--the range of my emotions, the range of my career. I'm falling in love with myself in new ways whilst hating the parts of myself that have kept and continue to keep me chained and bound. As I type this unexpected mini-manifesto, I fight to detangle my thoughts and bring clarity and fluidity to these words. But I've given up on making sense. The perfectionist in me slowly dies as a write, but she'll be resurrected by noon; you needn't worry.

My tears wet my smiles. Warmth of the soul soothes a frostbitten heart. In the early hours of the morning, I come to know that I am not bi-polar; I am human.


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