May 16, 2011

Don't Be Ashamed Of What You Love (Or How I Wanted To Be A Drummer)

When I was younger, I often liked things that others, for whatever reason, deemed I should not like.

For example, in grade school, when we were first introduced to band class, we were told to pick an instrument and stand in line. I chose drums and stood in line like I thought I was supposed to...

However, when I got to the head of the line, the teacher, male, said, "Girls don't play drums. We have to reserve the drums for any boys who want to play. Go pick something else." Well, by this time, all the other "cool" instruments were already taken. So, I got stuck with clarinet, which I sucked at. I just do not have lung power. I practiced and practiced and still sucked.


Then one day in class the teacher soloed me out, humiliated me, berated me, and accused me of being lazy and not practicing. I believe I had my very first panic attack that very moment. The walls closed in - all eyes on me - heat rose to my cheeks - tears spilled involuntarily from my eyes. I leaped up, ran out, threw my clarinet at the band leader, and quit - turned my back on playing a musical instrument forever.

I was also ridiculed endlessly for liking U2, Star Wars, really most of my personal taste... In later years, as I broadened my horizons, I would be judged for liking geek stuff by jocks, jock stuff by goths - Or horror geeks would make fun of my romantic comedy tastes, etc. As if because I don't fit any one mold, I am somehow less than or too different, or called a poser or a wannabe, all for having varied tastes and dreaming out loud.

I honestly don't understand why one must be judged so harshly for simply loving something - so what if you're a boy or a girl, so what if you're gay or straight, so what if you're black or white - love what you love and forget all the rest! I struggle with this still today - I hate being judged, I just do.

I see fellow artists, storytellers sharing seemingly without a care in the world what others think. I strive for that! To be released from the persecution and prison of judgment (or fear of judgment)! But, we're only human after all...

I still want to play drums.

Me @ Sun Studios

Mel & Larry 2001

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