“Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not…”
Jeremiah 33:3, KJV
“Are you doing this for attention, or are you doing this because it means something to you?”
Keke Palmer, The Real, 9.23.2015
My Dream Deferred
Ever since I was 8 years old, I’ve dreamed of becoming famous. I remember practicing the moves of Janet (Miss Jackson, if you nasty) on the playground during recess at school, in my bedroom while staring at my reflection in the mirror and even in my mind, hoping that the mere thought of practice would somehow make me better.
After about a month of this obsession, I discovered that I could actually sing better than I could dance! So Miss Jackson took a backseat to the one and only Miss Whitney Houston, honey and that was all she wrote! I lived and breathed Whitney, do you hear me? From “You Give Good Love” to “Exhale (Shoop)”, I knew every lyric and every note she sang in every song. I even convinced myself that if by some miracle I got the chance to meet her, I would be ready at a finger snap’s notice to break into song. And that’s real. I was 15 when she sang “I Will Always Love You,” for The Bodyguard soundtrack and I did my best to imitate her every melody. A youth mentor from my church heard me sing the song at a community lock-in one night and paid me to sing at his wedding the following year. It was my very first paid gig and it was also my last one.
I never really got a chance at the “big break” people speak of when discussing their ascent to fame and fortune. My life took some rather interesting turns and just like my idol, Miss Whitney Houston, my voice slowly began to fade away.
My So-Called Life
I spent 10 years of my life practicing relentlessly on a dream I never accomplished. Now, I get so nervous to sing aloud in public that I just sing for close friends and family. My voice was supposed to be our ticket to Easy Street. Instead, I am a 37-year-old single Black woman living in poverty, wondering how I managed to end up with a life like this. I have never been married and I have no children. I am morbidly obese and as a result of my weight, I suffer from a condition known as pseudotumor, which has left me with diminished vision. And, as if that was not enough to send a person over the proverbial edge, I have a criminal history that hinders my search for gainful employment to this very day, even though I paid my debt to society years ago.
An unfortunate set of circumstances, indeed, but I’m not even trippin’, because God has got me covered; as a matter of fact, I am actually quite blessed. In spite of all the factors in my life that could, should and would prevent me from striving for success. My faith, my belief in God and my belief in myself empower me with the strength I need to overcome my challenges and encourage those around me to do the same.
My New Attitude
Yeah, anyone can clearly see my life ain’t what I thought it would be… But I try not to worry, try not to fret—because I know my God ain’t through with me yet!
I DO NOT have the time or energy to let the mistakes of my past dictate my future anymore. A month ago, while lying in a hospital bed, I heard The Lord speak to me and He reavealed a plan for my life. Until that very moment, I had been wandering this earth confused and useless. I honestly felt like I had nothing left to offer anyone, except a bunch of tragic stories about my pathetic life.
But The Holy Spirit reminded me that although I may be down, I’m not out!
I started thinking about my friends and family, how much I love them and how much they love me. I thought about how their lives would be effected if I died the next time I had to come into the hospital. I thought about other people and the struggles of life they endure everyday and I felt compelled to share my stories with them. People have been in my ear about writing for a long while. I ain’t gonna lie, I tried to write stuff, but nothing made sense. I could never buckle down and focus. And my conversation with The Lord helped me finally realize why–it simply was not my time. Oh, but she’s ready now!
I have lived an amazing life thus far, full of ups and downs, smiles and frowns. I may not have the fame I so longed for as a child, but I do have a testimony that I can share with the world. Now, please don’t get it twisted—I am not a saint, I am a sinner, saved by Grace and Mercy. My flesh is just as weak as the next man/woman. I’m just a regular human being trying to be the best person I can with the skills that God gave me. I let fear and doubt stop me from singing, but my God is awesome—He blessed me with more than one talent! I forgot to mention that I am not only a college graduate, I am also an award-wnning, internationally published journalist.
And so, I am super hyped to present y’all with my blog: Pop Culture Parables of a Preacher’s Kid—true stories about yours truly and the lessons I’ve learned on my journey to the end of my days. I don’t claim to be a prophet, and I don’t have all the answers to the mysteries of life; however, I do believe in God, and I know that He’s real. I am who I am thanks to Him. I hope that by sharing the story of what He has done for my life, people can see that through good times and bad times, we should be thankful to live another day. Get busy living or get busy dying: the choice is yours. Look for me on Wednesdays and we gone be all right! Please share with a friend. Until next time…