At the beginning of August I released my first full length album, Pissed at the Praxy. These songs were a product of needing to process and talk throug issues long met with silence. Now a tangible compilation, I feel a deep need and desire to invite others into those very processes and conversations that are woven around and within each song. That's why every week I'm holding a live stream Q&A via Periscope to open up discussions about each song, to give greater insight and hopefully to receive some from you the listener.
Last week I shared about my song At The Lighthouse, the first song on the album. This week I'm changing things up slightly and I'm going to share the story behind this week's song, If Being Like You, here on my website and use the live Q&A to answer questions and give fun facts and inside scoops to the song. After the live stream I'll post another blog with the script of what was talked about on the livestream for those who weren't able to or aren't able to make it.
I worked as a volunteer for 2 years with a religious humanitarian organization. Since I was 15 I had been making choices and planning my steps based on the idea that I would live my life overseas in service to others, but when I got over there I felt the ill-fitting nature of what I had sewn for myself; it didn't fit and it didn't feel natural. Not only was I wrestling with trying to fit in a box too small but I was having to fight to survive and protect myself under abusive and exploitative leaders and conditions. It was orchestrated, I believe, to push me out so that I could find a better way and push me out it did.
So I came back to my hometown of Gainesville, Florida and I returned to my church that had supported me financially and had once been a very close family for me- I hoped they would be again. But, I wasn't the same person they sent 2 years prior. I was beaten and battered and fragile. I was desperate for help and I was in a place of re-evaluating and questioning everything since nothing had worked for me.
I was perfectly comfortable in this space. I felt confident and assured that that space was exactly where I needed to be. I was finding God there. I could breathe there. But no one in that church was comfortable with me being in that space; it made them nervous and suspicious of me. So they began to push me out right around the time that I began stepping out having realized that I was, again, trying to fit into something that was ill-fitting. But before I left, I wrote this song from the outside looking in.
I was labeled as one that had "fallen away" and was lobbed into the ranks of all the secular heathens going to hell (which I was kinda okay with. People are nicer over here). This song wasn't written from a point of being upset with how I personally was treated, but moreso from an angle of being upset with how they were treating everyone else- everyone that wasn't in their club aka their church; how they talked about the world and the people in it with such condescending eyes and words so drenced in judgement. I saw or heard nothing of God. This song is what I saw.
So that's the story behind If Being Like You. You can listen to it here or you can download your own copy of Pissed at the Praxy on iTunes.
Tune in to the live Q&A on Periscope Monday, August 24 @7pm on Periscope. You can send me your questions ahead of time using the hashtag "#IBLYQandA". Hope to see you then!