So you may know I’ve joined a rock band. These are the other facts you need to know. When I say “band,” I mean a bunch of beginners together in a room trying really hard to make noises that sound like a song you may or may not know. The music place where I take lessons has put us together for 14 weeks, and we play our first (and only) gig at the end of those 14 weeks. And by “gig,” I really mean it’s an adult recital in a bar.
The other fact you must know is that I am not at all musically inclined unless you call singing in the car with the wrong lyrics talent. Oh, and the other fact you must know is that I have absolutely no rhythm. Which is only a minor problem, because I am the drummer for said band.
I love drumming. I am truly horrible at it. It’s a struggle for me because it does not come naturally to me so I have to work very, very hard to not trip over my own drumsticks. With basic grooves I’m fine-ish. I’m stuck right now on a song and sometimes I get so frustrated I text my drum teacher a string of lovely supportive messages. Like:
I hate you!
I’m going to cry!
When I walk in for lessons I start screaming profanities at him. Bless his heart. I vomit my panic and anxiety and insecurities at him, and he patiently sits there and holds my agita as I keep throwing it at him. When I’m done ranting, he softly guides me back to the lesson. And says to me, “Just keep practicing. Just keep trying. Walk away when you need to. Then come back. If you keep doing it, it will come to you. Let it just flow.”
He’s told me to stop forcing things and allow the process to unfold. He tells me not to lose sight of having fun with this. I ask him in frustration if drumming is this hard for others. He asks me if that’s even relevant. I tell him I hate him.
I yell at him that he ignores my emails and texts when I am struggling with practice. He reminds me that he replies when there’s something concrete he can give me. Otherwise I’m just throwing panic at him and there’s nothing he can do with that. I thank him for holding that panic for me. I realize that’s enough. He tells me I’m going to make his head explode. I think he’s got a thing for me.
I love how life presents these reminders and lessons everywhere I turn. I was scared to take drum lessons. I’m even more terrified of being on stage and performing live. I’m afraid of failure or looking like a fool. I remind myself that I do hard things. I can be scared and brave at the same time. And have fun.
La Chica made a checklist for her bedroom door to keep herself on track with her morning tasks. The last directive in her morning routine reminds herself to have fun. I’m grateful to my wise drum teacher and my little one for these reminders, and for the opportunities to practice doing hard things.
So my tasks for becoming a rock star, and for life in general, are: keep practicing, allow the process to unfold, focus on myself and my growth, and have fun. Note that nowhere in there am I supposed to harass my drum teacher. He will miss it, I just know it.