I was thinking over the weekend what I could write about for this week since it’s the week of Thanksgiving and my Birthday. What better time than to just simply write about what I’m thankful for and the people who have been a huge help in my journey.

This January makes 15 years that I have been teaching private lessons in Whiteville NC. I’ve always kept at least one student and have never been without one since January 2003. Call me weird but I seldom told myself it was a sign to keep it up and to work hard for what I envisioned. I worked part-time and full-time jobs in the process and would get off at 5:00 pm to rush to my first student of the evening so I could keep the dream alive and if it was the fall season (marching season) I would travel to local high schools to coach drum line. I tried to keep teaching and playing a priority in my life even if it wasn’t “full-time” at the time. There was something there that I couldn’t extinguish, it was just something I had to do.

I later made it back to college in 2009 to have one of the greatest tests and experiences of my drumming career that would send me into doing this full-time. I marched in the drum line for the 2009 Spirit of The Carolina’s Marching Band along with 21 drummers from different backgrounds. I was the oldest on the line being 26 at that time ha! It tested my skill level, pride, mental toughness, and my physicality. There were a couple of times I wanted to give up but I stayed on, practiced hard and pushed myself when I thought I wasn’t on their level, being that most of the line were in their teens or early 20’s fresh out of an existing program. I finished out the season being glad that I did because of what it had taught me and the relationships I had built-in the process. I only finished one and a half semesters at UNCP because I couldn’t afford to keep driving an hour to and from school with little time to work and make hardly any money to survive. I had to make a tough decision to leave school and took what money I had saved up and pushed all of it towards advertising in Columbus County and haven’t looked back since. For the past seven years after making that decision I haven’t looked back.

When I was a kid I can remember saying that all I wanted was to live at Lake Waccamaw and make a living from drums. It’s been a long process and a very interesting journey to where I’m at today. I realize looking back at all the factors that had to be there for this to take place. The dream, hard work, determination, and relationships. If it wasn’t for the dream there would be no direction. If there is no hard work towards that dream or goal then there is no progression. Without determination you will not be able to withstand the tough times or the disappointment that creeps in when you least expect it. And without people and relationships the path will be more difficult going it alone.

The people I have in my life and the people I’m going to meet are the driving force for what I do. I would not be at this point in my life without those who pushed me, encouraged me, picked me up when I was down, lent a helping hand, or were just there to hang and talk. I just want to say thank you to anyone who has been a part of my life and the path I have chosen. Without you I wouldn’t be in this spot, at this very moment, writing this post….


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