Perfectly Broken

Upon entering my room one may wonder why I have garbage up on my wall. I do not put rags or rotting food on my wall. However, many people believe that what I have up there is garbage. It is a broken cylinder of wood, splintered in the center, pieced together from two, that before was one, but would never quite be one again. The violent act of destroying it is why I hold it so dearly to me. It was that moment I knew that my life would never be the same. At that time I knew that what I had in front of me would forever change my life. When I saw the shattered frame of wood that lay on my drum set I realized that this would be the guiding light for the rest of my life. I was a drummer, I loved it, and I was proud.

This happened about three years ago, in the beginning of my year in eighth grade. I had a friend who had played the drums, and I always enjoyed going to his house and messing around on his drum set.

When he told me he wasn’t playing anymore, I saw it as an excellent opportunity. He let me borrow his set until I could get one of my own. When I got it in my house I was so thrilled I played it for hours. I feel sorry for my parents who had to listen to me before I had any lessons or practice. Whether I was good or bad, I was enjoying myself. Although I was happy the way I was, I took into account the complaints I got from my family and decided to take lessons.

I was at first upset that my lessons were moving so slowly. It seemed like I was hardly learning anything and that I would never get better. I was very frustrated and even considered quitting. One day when I was playing very especially loud, my drumstick broke right in half. One piece flew in the air, landing on my drumset, the remaining piece laying in my hand, unable to be played with. My first reaction was mere annoyance, I had no extra sticks and could not use my drums anymore until I got new ones.

However, I soon got over this and realized the importance of what I had done. It was a symbol of the power of the drums; the power that would be from then on mine.

It was not long after that when I began to show real improvement. The lessons were paying off, and all those things I learned that seemed pointless began to fit right in. The pieces were coming together and I was really beginning to know what I was doing. I got together with a friend who played bass and a friend who played guitar and we jammed together. As I was laying in bed staring up at my drumstick one day I realized that I had gone from merely someone who plays the drums, to a drummer.

I have been told to throw the stick out multiple times by my mother, my friends, and various other people. To everyone else it is just garbage. However, it is very important to me. From the moment when I started playing drums, to when I broke my first stick, it was nothing more than a hobby. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. When that stick broke I knew that there was more to it. I was making music. For the first time in my life I had a true way to express myself other than speech. It went beyond the spoken word or eye contact. Music is the telling of stories, through feeling and emotions. It is the only way I know of to translate anger, excitement, hostility, or tranquility from one to another. I now had a power I never came close to before. I was filled with the joy of what it meant.

Although the broken drumsticks that followed go straight to the garbage, I will always keep this one. When I am upset, frustrated, or feel that I should give in to pressure, I look to the old broken drumstick as an inspiration. It tells me that like when I first started playing the drums, it may not look good at first, but with hard work and practice I can get it done. I learned never to give up; because in the end, when all of the work is done and the rewards come in, it will all be worth it.

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