So, two Thursdays ago, I left work in the middle of the day to go to Urgent Care due to chest pains that had been persistently bothering me for three days. My blood work came back healthy, my standing heart rate is like 40bpm and my blood pressure is great. All signs then point to stress. I know that I have always approached the blog in a somewhat unconventional way, exposing some of my motivation and the goings on behind the scenes and so it continues today. I am a high school English teacher in one of the most difficult environments in the country and I have never enjoyed the profession (though I love working with my students in a mentoring capacity) and have reacted fairly poorly to the stress that the job creates. While I am at work, in the back of my mind, and suppressed in my heart, is the desire to create and write about music, which is the impetus for the creation of SAC. SAC grew at a pace I would have never been able to prepare for – I actually just created it as a creative outlet and a means to creating a writing portfolio in hopes of finding my way as a writer – and now I find myself overwhelmed.
The end has been realized, but little did I know that the means would take over and I would become consumed with a desire to help preserve and advance this genre of music that I am so enamored with. I have been blessed to develop relationships, and even friendships, with artists whose music made it into my ears, found a place in my heart and was then gushed about through the written word on the blog, in the hopes that that very music would find a place in the hearts of my humble readership.
In seeing the above come to fruition, I have realized a great deal of joy, but have also incurred a great deal of stress; I am, by nature, a perfectionist and I want to run the perfect hip hop blog and to become the perfect journalist who chooses the perfect artists who I will perfectly interview and review. This has been one of sources of the stress that landed me in urgent care a couple of weeks ago, causing me to re-think my priorities – personal, professional and peripheral.
Upon reflection, given the life of its own the blog has taken on, I recognize that I am an excellent writer, dedicated to authenticity in hip hop, but I am not an effective audience builder. As I process that, I am realizing that the blog is probably not the most effective use of my time, nor that of the artists I write about, I love and I support.
As I add the above to the fact that my family is growing, my bills are paid by my efforts in the classroom, I am ever increasingly investing in the lives of those in my church community and my increasing feelings of failure in not being able to do all of this perfectly, I am faced with the tough decision of where to go from here.
To gain some perspective, I am going to take the rest of the year to seek God’s will for my future as a disciple of Christ, a husband, a father, an employee, an elder, and a hip hop head. Please know that I have been truly blessed by the hip hop community and plan to continue to support my community in some fashion, even if solely as a fan, now and forever. Now, I have conducted a few interviews and have set up a few others and am hoping to land a gig with a blog that reaches a much greater audience so that those stories are told to a broader audience and, barring any unforeseen hinderances, I hope that that outlet allows me to continue to write about this music and culture that I love with a deep sense of affection and belonging.
I am unsure of what the future holds for SAC, but I am certain that hip hop will continue to be a means of God’s grace which allows me see the world through the eyes of others, builds my sense of compassion for others and strengthens my desire to see social justice realized in an unjust world.
If you have read to this point, then I thank you for your support of a fellow hip hop head and I would ask that you please leave a comment regarding what SAC has contributed to your life, specifically to your experience in/with hip hop, through the blog.
Peace and Love,