It’s with a bit of sadness and a lot of anticipation and excitement that I announce that I will be moving to Philadelphia at the end of this Summer. I actually don’t know where to start but I thought I should let you all know.
Earlier this year I felt strongly that things would be changing, but I wasn’t sure what that meant. I wrestled with the idea of leaving Pittsburgh but tossed the idea out pretty quickly for a number of reason. On one account, I’ve become accustomed to this routine I have – leave for a few days or a few weeks, come home and reconnect with friends, family and my church community, then leave again. It’s a back-and-forth that’s been pretty predictable and fairly comfortable all at the same time. Ironically it’s also incredibly unpredictable as every day on the road is different from the next. But somehow both lifestyles have found a way to work together while being polar opposites to each other. And in working together, they have become very comfortable.
I used to think being comfortable was a good thing; and I’m not saying that it’s not (we all have our comforts), but comfortable for me has become fairly stagnant and stale over the past few years. I’ve been in Pittsburgh my whole life…or at least the greater part of it (since age 5) and you guys have treated me so well – welcomed me with open arms and helped me grow as a person and as an artist. Pittsburgh is an awesome place to be an artist!!! The last time I listened to my first album I cringed. It’s so terrible! I can’t even believe you let it see the light of day…and kept listening! haha! Some of you have been around since Day 1 – as encouragers, committed show attendees, financial supporters, word-of-mouthers and so much more! So I owe much to the people, and music/art scene in this town for helping me to become better, for sticking with me all these years (9 in total) and helping me to get to the next level.
Which brings me to this so-called new Chapter:
I’ve never had a 5-year plan. Or a 10-year. Don’t think I ever will. I like 1-year plans. I like looking at the past 12 months, seeing how I grew, what I could have done better, and then making realistic goals to shoot for in the next 12 months. This year, I felt strongly that staying where I’ve been (in the literal sense) would keep me in a holding pattern. So it’s been a restless season, full of uncertainties and not knowing what’s next. I still don’t know :)
The few people I told in advance asked me if I’m moving to Philly for the music scene, for a life change, or to be with my sister, Peace. My answer was Yes. Yes to all 3 – primarily and simply for change. But the fact that my sister lives there sealed the deal (we’ll be living together). Regarding music: to be honest, I don’t really understand how the music piece fits into my life. It has always seemed like a foreign object that just set up shop in my life…and so somehow I let it stay. I still, believe it or not, feel like a fish out of water. I still don’t feel like a musician. I still don’t know why I’m doing music except that it is the gift God has given me to share with those around me. And at this point in my life I have become completely ok with it being just that. I am always expecting it to change. I am always expecting it to someday not be there (or at least to change its form in my life). But for now it is still around and so I am going to do it the best that I can! So if you thought I was going to announce a career change- that’s not happening…yet…or anytime soon as far as I know! :)
Aaaall that to say, being in Philly does make being a musician alot easier. I don’t have to be on the road for 2 weeks at a time because DC, Lancaster, Baltimore, NYC…etc are all 90 minutes-to 2.5 hours away instead of 4-7 hours. That’s a huge perk. But of course I will still be traveling to the Midwest and going down south, so there will be long tours on the books as usual.
For years I told myself that I would/could never live in Philadelphia. The traffic alone was enough to make me pull my hair out! And the people…well they aint Pittsburghers (but you didn’t read that here)! hehe. But I guess I’ll just deal! :) I honestly wish I could say that God told me to go there. I’d feel more confident about the move if that were the case. But I’m just making a move and trusting that he will honor it and keep opening doors. I guess that’s how it works, right? You can either stay put and stick to what you know or venture out and discover all the possibilities. You’ll never know what you don’t know unless you get out of the box! In any case, I strongly believe Philadelphia is just a stepping stone. Definitely not the end game!
Last but not least, deciding to move was especially hard when i thought about Samuel & Emmanuel – my two 4-year old recently adopted brothers who have become the light of my life. I won’t lie – I’ve shed alot of tears on that one and if there’s anything that would make me change my mind, it would be them.. But I’ll be passing through Pittsburgh as much as possible to stay connected. And i should also mention that I will of course be swinging through Pittsburgh for occasional shows.
If you are in Pittsburgh, thank you for the part you have played in my life over the years.
If you are in Philadelphia, I’m looking forward to getting to know you better!
If you’re somewhere else, I’ll see you on the road!
That is all.
p.s. one final shows in Pittsburgh before I leave! Its free and with the band
AUG 21: Rodef Shalom Garden Party!