They say our personalities are molded when we’re infants and that we’re already shaped by the time we reach puberty. Which means, in my case, that I became this lazy, arrogant, selfish, egotistical, emotional, asshole when I was a tiny boy and there’s just no other way out of it. I am who I am. Wow. So, if this is in fact the gospel, then it makes sense to me because I’ve been struggling with the same flaws in my character for as long as I can remember and I don’t think I’ve really changed all that much. I know that I want to do things differently and will often get started on something, but somehow can’t ever seem to stay focused or motivated long enough to find that finish line. The beginning is usually really strong too, with all the piss and vinegar of a young man, lots of attitude and determination.
Shit, I can name 20 different things I’ve gotten excited about through the years…started on them, then lost interest. It’s been going on just about as long as I can remember. If you were to open up my head, get inside my brain and pull out these memories, lay them out on a table, they’d look like a junkyard of old cars up on blocks, each one in various states of completion and disrepair. Yoga, karate, swimming, running, biking, reading, writing, teaching, and so on.
I’ve talked about doing drum clinics, traveling around the country as an instructor, doing group classes with other drummers, my own peers, offering students a chance to see and hear us all play with the same band, each with our own individual personality and approach to the drums. Then giving each student a chance to interact and actually participate with that same group of musicians. How much fun would that be? Even came up with a name for the class…No Boundaries, I called it. I have a notebook with five pages of crap that I wrote down, how I would structure the lessons, the cats that I wanted to be involved and folks that we’d invite to come out and demonstrate. It was gonna be big. At least in my mind. Why can’t I get to it and why does it have to be just my words on pieces of paper? I often wonder about my own death and the aftermath…if friends and family will find my stuff and laugh and cry about it all, or is my situation really just normal and are there scores of people just like me dealing with the same frustrations? I don’t know, but I’m in a constant state of wonder about it all. Do I have ADD or is that just a bunch of b.s.?
Just about the only two things I’ve ever been able to stick with in my life is playing the drums and quitting smoking, the latter of course being the most difficult of the two. I’ll always be a drummer, there’s no way around that, but quitting cigarettes was a tremendous struggle and one that I never thought I’d manage, but somehow I did and it’s been more than 10 years since I had one. Congratulations, me. I see that as an accomplishment and I’m proud of it, but I wonder why it’s so hard to find the motivation for other things in my life, like getting into shape or going back to school to get that degree I always wanted, or starting back on the Polish class that I’d been so good at all those years ago. My teacher once said that my accent was so good, if she didn’t know me she’d have mistaken me for a real Polish speaking man. Alas, I didn’t stick with it and now I can barely say hello.
I had a therapist, a wonderful old lady, tell me one time that I will never be a focused individual and that I should just accept the fact that I am who I am. It hit me hard and I was upset and want so bad to be able to prove her wrong. To call her up one day out of the blue and tell her about all these wonderful things I’ve started doing and have become good at. How disciplined I am, diligent, hardworking. Jesus, I torture myself about this mess, daily.
Not long ago, I ran into a man that I had met once or twice through my dad when I was very young. My memory of this person was that he was very big and extremely overweight, probably obese. It’s been more than 20 years since I’d seen this person and I didn’t recognize him at all because he looked very thin and healthy, with a big smile. It was amazing. He told me that he’d tried numerous diets, heath plans, exercises, groups, therapy, all of it. His was a classic case and he just couldn’t get rid of the weight, until someone recommended he try hypnosis.
It worked and in a big way. He told me that his whole life changed right away and he even liked it so much that he went to study it and is now a certified instructor in hypnotherapy out in California. To me, this is inspiring and makes me wonder if something similar would be possible if I were to try it for myself. Maybe I, too can hypnotize my brain and become this person I’ve always wanted to be. I better hurry though cause I’ve got a birthday coming up soon and I’m not getting any younger. Look out world, here I come! Or maybe I’ll just save that thought for another day.