On Family, Freedom, and Singing with Soul
Happy (belated) Independence Day!
I'm so grateful to live in a place where I can pursue my dreams to my heart's content! I, a young woman, can travel this entire nation, by myself!, in safety and with relative ease, singing and making art and speaking my mind. That's just incredible to me. Yesterday, the 4th of July, was a moment to reflect on our current lifestyle and on my dreams for the future.
This holiday was a little complicated for me. Like... I love fireworks, but I also have children of the ages 7, 6, 3, and 1. Those are not the most conducive ages for a late-night fireworks display. We're also far from family and friends, living across the country in a place we have yet to fully settle into. There wasn't a family barbecue to attend, or picnics with close friends, or much of anything else going on. I know that's because of our choices over the past couple of years, such as moving away from family and friends.
Plus, we keep mostly to ourselves in Arizona. I've needed that solitude to balance the hectic pace of touring. In light of my recent 19-month bout of postpartum depression, the respite of a quiet home life (well, "quiet" is relative with 4 children) has been a blessing. I trust that when the time is right to grow in community, the Lord will provide. Not to mention, I'm personally blessed to have friends and family all over this wonderful country. And I get to see them on my frequent tours. That brings me to a recent quandary in my music career.
Basically, I'm ready to speak up now.
In a similar fashion to our quiet life in Arizona, I've formed a quiet persona even as an independent recording artist. Although I'm regularly in the spotlight, I'm also not forthcoming with many personal stories. I keep strong opinions to myself and to my close circle of trusted friends. I have shared publicly about postpartum depression, however. The process and the responses were very cathartic and encouraging. But when it comes to sharing anything potentially polarizing or confrontational, I haven't!
What has stopped me? Mainly the need to focus on my young marriage and family. I didn't have the energy to take on cultural battles, while at the same time trying to figure out who I am as a wife and a mom. But now, I know! I've discovered this deep sense of stability and assurance. A lot of hidden wounds were both revealed and healed this past year. I'm finally excited to share my own story! I live in a place and a time where the ability to speak out in an uncensored manner is unprecedented, and I'm ready to take advantage of those opportunities in new ways.
Of course, I'll also be on the receiving end of others' uncensored responses. And if I start wading into controversial topics on online, I imagine people won't pull any proverbial punches.
I'm so excited. I'm ready for those conversations now.
By the way, I hope you enjoy my latest song, "Let It Be." It's a mashup of The Beatles' classic song, together with some of my favorite gospel hymns.
Growing up on Gospel music has influenced who I am as a musician. I only sing with conviction in my soul. Likewise, as I prepare to speak out about my own experiences and opinions, I want to bring that same passion and assurance with me. I trust that my truest friends will be there for me even as I navigate this new level of forthrightness. From the start, I've recognized my musical ability as a gift. I recently found a renewed appreciation for the freedom of speech. I'm ready to use those gifts to the best of my ability.