How many of you ever had the thought, “well that will never be me.”? Has that ever ran through your head before? I wonder why some (a lot) of people just don’t feel that their life was meant for anything really great. And before I get scolded for saying that, because of course finding your perfect spouse, making a family, buying a house, making it a home, and earning yourself a career that supports all of that IS AMAZING! But what I am saying is whether you understand even a fraction of your potential? I know I didn't.
I was never really great at academics, I was always the last one out of the class during exams in school, I was terrible at sports, I didn’t have many friends, I never won stuff, and in general I kinda felt like the blimp. Not to be all pouty and shit, but I always felt like a cloud of mediocrity was over my head most of the time, compressing me into an average life to live. Anything that I was good at was nothing more than a hobby. I was conditioned to think that the things I enjoyed couldn't become my vocation.
I’ll go a step further too when it comes to this and suggest that I even felt like I was not destined for much of anything. I have always had a very difficult time maintaining happiness, gratitude, and appreciation for what I have in my life. I have this tendency to look at what I don’t have and measure my life by that yardstick. I have attended many therapy sessions where I get an opportunity to be heard without judgment for a little while, pay my money, and go back home. It kinda felt like paying for the pleasure. This all amounted to me thinking I had some “technical difficulties” and great things weren’t meant for me.
I had to start this blog with that to make some sense to you about the next portion of this writing.
The last week I had was beyond ANYTHING I ever imagined for myself. Many times I would be sitting in my hotel room, or on the plane to and from British Columbia, just thinking about my life and what it has been like. There have been many ups and downs, but the ups were never as dramatic as the downs. In fact, the downs have been damn near impossible to get out of at times and the ups are just kinda “meh” for the most part. But this last two years since I started DrumGab have had many ups and fewer downs, and those ups have seemed to trade places with the downs. It has been refreshing to say the very least.
I wonder a lot about how this came to me. I haven’t been a great person. I have said so many awful things to people out of extreme anger that I have held onto. I have said so many awful things to myself. I haven't been particularly loving and kind to myself over the years. I have held onto a lot of guilt and shame about how I have lived. I get told so often that I am an inspiration to people for starting this podcast and taking it to a fairly high level in a short period of time. But those people don’t really know me. They know a bit about me from the podcast and since the podcast, not before it.
I have said many times before that I made DrumGab for me. It was a time capsule, a way to keep creative and productive, a way to get out of the monotony of life...wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, wake up, go to work, come home…..you know what I mean right? That shit numbs me out and makes me antsy. DrumGab gave me some sense of purpose. It really was a distraction and somewhat of a therapy as well.
(So back to the school thing for a minute.) Back in high school, I used to love two classes, Music and Communications Technology. Making music and multimedia have always seemed to be my interests. So in those classes, you couldn’t get me to stop working or practicing. In Comm Tech I would stay late at night in the classroom in a little alcove working away feverishly on my projects and having such a great time, but not that I was blissfully working, it was a NEED to work. I just couldn’t stop. Same went for drumming. Around this same time, I was being asked what I was gonna be when I grow up and I couldn’t answer that question. Even though I was chronically working on video and audio related projects…and I would always go way deeper into that shit than I ever had to. I got very high grades in that class, except for tests cause instead of studying I was more likely working on my projects. The point I am trying to make is that my answer was staring me in the fucking face. I was supposed to make media. I was supposed to create my own stories. I was supposed to write out my thoughts randomly late at night when the idea came to me (like this one). I am meant to create.
So some fifteen years later I, by accident, decided to wear my passion and follow through with the immense library of work that I have created in a little over two years. Lots of writing, videos, podcasts, and most recently a mini-series that was transcribed and published into a book called “Awakening” (aptly titled isn’t it?). Here is what I have come to discover. We as people need to be observant to our passions and purpose. What is it in our lives that we just can’t fucking wait to start working on and would say “just ten more minutes! I just have to do this one more thing and I’ll be right down!” if someone tried to stop you to come down for dinner.
You just know when you HAVE to do something. And lemme tell you something about that. When you love to do something, the effect of that comes through your work. People notice when something was made with immense passion and it, in turn, inspires others.
I don’t think I am inspiring at all. The thing that inspires you is the same thing that inspires me. It is bigger than us all. It is our purpose. Maybe you see the thing that is igniting my ambition to work hours upon hours on a podcast and get paid nothing to make it for almost two years and you are finding that in yourself too. Or, maybe it was already there and now you see it and you gave yourself permission to run for it. That is what you need to do. Just say the words, “I will, I can, I won’t stop”.
Empower yourself with your purpose.
So for the majority of making DrumGab, this is how I have felt. Now that isn’t to say that it has always been a cakewalk and that I haven’t thought about putting this shit down once in a while. Remember episode 59? I nearly caved in. So I made an episode about it and the outreach was intense. People lifted my broken ass up off the ground, dusted me off, patted me on the arse, and told me to keep walking. Thanks for everyone who showed me love on that episode, it really helped me gain the perspective I needed during that time. I gotta say though, there haven’t been this many great times in my life since I committed myself to DrumGab. This podcast changed my fucking life. It made me wiser, stronger, more appreciative, boosted my confidence, showed me my purpose, and I created so many great friendships and business relationships as well. It has been a non-stop winning streak for me….and it is all because I honored my purpose. The life that was purposefully mine. By pouring love into the work I did and by keeping a cool head about shit, I think that is why DrumGab got noticed.
So again, this past week has been unbelievable. My partnership with Drumeo is a dream come true for me. I have always admired their work, before knowing the people behind it, and I have always felt that Drumeo was the pinnacle of that end of the drumming industry. To say now that I am part of their family, and I have great friendships with so many of the wonderful people involved over there is a true honor. They saw something in me and that is quite a blissful thing to take in. My Comm Tech teacher Robin Moore said to me that he uses me as an example to his students and kept the old Mac that I used to work on as a memento. That is another thing that is quite something to be told.
How was I so hard on myself? I was truly blinded by anger and my destructive path. In many ways drumming, and this type of work has been the thing to keep my head occupied and focused on a task. I just never want it to end. Keep bringing me the work to do so I can keep working on myself through my purpose and finding the parts of me that others already saw.
So, long story short this is my advice to you...
I can promise you that by taking notice of what drives you and pouring love into that will bring nothing but good into your life.
Also! Be patient, expect nothing, be cool and humble, give first and ask for nothing, be brave and scare yourself, don't plan too far ahead, be honest and vulnerable, lose your ego, add value to others and yourself, and looking forward and not behind is a winning combination, folks. Show up for your life! Do your best! Put in the fucking work!!! This is your life and your chance to make shit happen! START TODAY! NOT TOMORROW!! IF you want something, go out and fucking GET IT! EARN IT! CRAVE IT!
Life is exciting once you start showing up for it.