What is this- Friends, with Jessie? Part II of III
My second passion- MUSIC
It deserves it’s own sentence to begin with because I LOVE music. Now, I’m gonna take a deep breath and try my hardest not to go music overload in this story! But music is everywhere in my life! I mean, everywhere. It’s in the daily grind, it’s the connection between memories and people, and it’s also something my husband and I pursue together. I started breaking down all the ways I use music just in my daily routine and was kind of amazed. I put on my favorite song when I want to match a melody to my feelings. It’s the white noise in my car when I need to focus or stay awake. It’s the beat that gets my house clean and that ain’t no joke! LOL. It’s the force that drives me to dancing or sing at the top of my lungs! It even brings me closer to people as it gives us something in common.
I love going to concerts with Jed or friends and instantly connect with all the surrounding strangers as we sing at the top of our lungs. I love how a song comes on when I’m with family and we all start singing it. I love worshipping at church every Sunday, and expressing the love I have for God alongside other believers. But as I get away from the daily facets of music in my life and on to the pursuit of creating music myself, the feelings start to change. It’s been a wonderful, scary, awesome, amazing ride that I can’t wait to break down today!
Listening to music is one thing, singing music is a step up, and pursuing music as an occupation is a terrifying dream that I always thought would not be reality. So fair warning! My messy relationship with music is about to go down. I’m about to bring up our sketchy history and the ways we are learning to be together in the present in order to really thrive in the future. <3
First- My “Wandering” Spirit.
I didn’t say “wondering” even though I do feel like that too- all the time. ha! Ever since I was little, I remember having a very creative mind. Our small back yard was a wilderness of exploration and the honey suckle, horse apples, and mud were my treasures. Being one of seven kids added to a lot of the fun. We used to make up songs and put on plays and dances and then show them to mom. A few of our musical gems were embarrassingly caught on home video. Feel free to ask my mom about them. LOL. Radio Disney drove us into awesome air guitar solos and sweet grooves. And as I grew up, I started not only enjoying music and reacting to how it made me feel, I started creating music myself. I used to take my brothers MacBook, get on Garage Band and record myself over and over again. I would enter Youtube contests with things I made up and I would always write things down that inspired me. Creating music was like an oasis for me. I usually wrote my own music by myself where my mind was clear and I was surrounded by nature, or by the comfort of my own room. Between high school and college, I wrote about 200 different songs! I would record them on my phone or sing them to myself as I ran around the local park. But what is so funny about that magical part of my life, is that it was a little bubble that I put my creativity in that never saw much light of day. I would do covers on Youtube from time to time, but I never really let people into my magical musical bubble. It was always just me. And as I started to ask myself why, it was interesting what I discovered.
Second- My Worry, Mixed with Prudent Reality
In the first blog, you heard me talk about how nervous and worried I used to get. Well it was no joke! And the funny thing about that with music is that I lied to myself all the time. I put negative thoughts together in my life and just said, that was the way things were… which was not true! I told myself, since I was one of seven kids, it was not a good thing to go after music. I am a daddy’s girl and my dad was good with his money and never went crazy with anything monetary. He also played the banjo, so his musical influence on me was HUGE. I originally started learning how to play guitar in eleventh grade just so I could accompany him… and play Michael Martin Murphey’s “Boy From the Country” song. But to me, people who made a living doing music were aliens that weren’t really normal people. It sounds funny writing it down, but it’s what I thought. I thought, all musicians just had some crazy dumb luck or a rich family that could do all things necessary to reach the top. My parents didn’t have resources to give me music lessons or anything like that, so instead of thinking about wanting to pursue music, I always just thought, “I can’t pursue music”. It was never an option in my mind :( How powerful those thoughts were. What’s funny about that though is, since I did not have the passion or wisdom behind going after music professionally, I had NO pressures that hindered my creativity. I just created music! Because I enjoyed it! There were no affirmations needed or any deadlines to meet. It just pleased me. And looking back at it,
I think it helped me more than hurt me.
Third- The Fresh Eyes in a Dark Place
The first major change for me musically, was when I was 18 years old! I joined the adult church choir at Parkside Baptist Church. Aside from singing in the two worship services each Sunday, Parkside put on two concerts with a full orchestra each year. Talk about learning to swim in a vast pool of music! My middle school choir teacher who also happened to be the Sunday school college teacher, really nudged me to join the alto section. And what a heaven-sent action that was! After being faithful in the choir for 4 years, I found myself naturally hearing harmonies and site reading. All technical aspects aside, I got to express my joy to God alongside 25-50 other people! It was amazing!
The second major music change happened when I transferred to SOSU after graduating with an Associates Degree. My major was Spanish, and in the very first Spanish class on campus, a couple girls were talking about the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry). I was interested and checked it out that Thursday night. I eventually ended up on the worship team there with 4 other guys that have now become my close friends. There was a lot of learning and discipline involved with becoming a tight worship team, but after two years of ups and downs, leading worship with them has become one of my favorite things. My last semester of college was when I met Jed, my husband. He started playing lead guitar with us and soon became my best friend.
That summer after graduation was very strange as my plans to go to South America and be a Spanish speaking missionary came to a screeching halt because of internal issues with the International Mission Board. Just shortly after the time I found out about not being able to take that trip, Jed and I started dating. And though it really seemed inconvenient to not go to South America, God opened up another passion in my life. The music. But not the “sing to myself” music that I loved growing up, it was the “pursue this with all I have” music that I’ve told myself all my life that I could not go after. Being with Jed not only made me realize that I could pursue music, but that I didn’t have to do it alone. Less than a year later, we got married, and the rest is history (or just another story for another time). After getting married, we still lead worship at times with our BCM friends, but now Jed and I lead worship every Sunday at FBC Durant and are currently making original music together.
Fourth and Final- The Now Looking to the Future
It’s funny how my enjoyment of music evolves and changes. Even the people I enjoy it with changes. My date of choice is driving around with Jed while listening to a new album. Also, my enjoyment of creating music is different. I don’t just want to create songs by myself anymore. The desire to share with others has dramatically increased, as well as, playing and creating together with Jed. It has been a huge learning curve for me and Jed, and we don’t know what the future holds for us, but the daily pursuit of music together has been so rewarding. It’s scary to go after something that doesn’t have a 4 year degree plan. It’s scary to go after something that doesn’t involve insurance or plush employment benefits. But it’s even scarier not to chase our dreams. We are so excited to see where this year takes us and to bring you along with us on the journey!
Hope you enjoyed my Music story! How does music move you? Is it a big part of your life?
Next week, I will wrap up this three part story with how Friends, with Jessie brings both the Church and Music together.
Until then, much love and God speed.