A drummer girl's story of love, Part 1

troisnyx*: Jojo, thanks for the vid you gave me.
Jojo: Anytime.
troisnyx*: I've always dreamed of playing that well. In fact, I look at the vid and I feel helpless. I can only dream of playing that well. My timing is still out and I need to sleep with the metronome under my pillow.........
Jojo: Remember, the greatest of achievements starts with a dream.

Jojo, if you read this, please consider it an emotion-fuelled monologue.

I was talking to Ms Joaan the other day and she handed me this link - she watched the 12-year-old Sara who happened to secure a winning streak in the Avex Entertainment auditions. That girl has already become a familiar face on YouTube and everyone marvelled at the way she played. Yes, not only was she a drummer of extraordinary technical mastery that went way beyond her years, she played with so much passion. And here I am, in a lonely corner in Desa Petaling, several time zones behind her, now 17, and I'm still struggling with timekeeping.

Some people may have read this post in a different form before. Some people need to know this story before telling me how I suck at drumming. And some may have gone through the same experience as I have. But friends, I am going to tell you a very long tale... Not a fairytale at that, but one which happened in real life.

This is the first part of my story of passion, unabridged. This is a drummer girl's story of love.
[This part begins in 1994 and ends in June 2008.]

I was three. It was 1994 and I was in Yamaha's Junior Music course (now, three-year-olds are not allowed in unless they can read, write and count with high competence), and I was going through my first few music lessons - at one time, we were doing rhythm training and somehow, the beat of the drum made my heart race. Something made me want to get hold of the sticks and play. No, it was not a childish want to touch and feel, but something way beyond that. In church (back then I was still a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier's, PJ) I would just look right for a few moments to get a glimpse of the drummer, and then look front. And when I went home, I would imitate them by gently tapping on my pillow. The thought arose in my mind, "I really want to play drums."

That thought was reinforced a while later - two of my second cousins, Aaron and Oliver - both of them play drums. It so happened that I saw the way Aaron played the drums, I wanted to follow suit because it just was.... good ! I just wanted to look into mom's eyes and tell her how much I wanted to play the drums. But then, I stopped : I knew how mom stereotyped drummer girls - she called them tomboys and said it was a boy's instrument and such. Not wanting to stir up a row, I continued my piano lessons quietly. And while mom and dad were not looking, I just watched dolefully from the pew while the drummer did something to appeal to my heart. Or was it God speaking to me ? Probably. Whatever time I had to myself in my little corner, I would just tap on the pillow or beat my toy drum just to get a feel of these beats. My lips were sealed, my heart heavy ; I did not tell anyone. The only person to have heard my rhythm and beat was Jesus. And Jesus understood the language of my heart. While I was alone in the Yamaha studio waiting for the rest of my classmates to come in, I would pound on the bass drum for dear life. And I remember when there was this piece for percussion, I had no qualms about closing my eyes and pounding on the bass drum really quickly. Yeah, at that age, I began to appreciate the beat.

And to be honest, at that time, I had used and abused four toy drums. Banging them too hard, I suppose.

I went for Novena and Mass in St Francis Xavier's as usual, and when everyone was singing Hail Mary/Gentle Woman, I joined in the chorus. I sang my heart out. It was just... inexplicable - one of the Communion Ministers must have heard me singing ; she came to my side, gave me a pretty yellow rosary (that was my very first rosary, and I still have it today !) - whispered in my ear, "You sing well." I immediately told mom and dad. I was delighted, not just because I got my first rosary, but also because someone actually took heed of my effort to sing.

I went to Q-dees when I was 5 and ended when I was 6. There was a recession in Malaysia in 1997 (when I was six), but I was just playing around happily with my kindergarten friends, too innocent to know the entire situation everyone else was in. That same year, my batch from Happy Gardens performed in the Q-dees concert. We were to dance - and I think we did it pretty well. I was backstage watching the entire concert. The brown wooden floor was actually strongly illuminated so from far, it looked like we were dancing on ice. I watched a splendid array of colours fill the stage with every performance. Then came the final performance - a percussion group from another Q-dees branch. I forgot which one it was. But something actually caught my eye - the drummer was a girl !! A six-year-old already doing singles, doubles, ratmacues and basic march rhythms ? I wanted to do it too ! I wanted to tell mom and dad but I hesitated, and decided not to - for fear that those negative remarks would come again.

The time to give away all my toys came. I entered primary school in 1998, when I was seven. That same year, Dad had to stop working in KL as MAS went bankrupt, and so he had to go to Singapore. Reluctant to let him go, I had to. But he promised us that he would see us every weekend, and that is how it has been ever since. 1998 was the only year when the school percussion band performed. I just wanted to grab those sticks and roll, but I never understood how they did a good drum roll... I was never a member of the school percussion band (they dispersed in 1998), but my years in the choir compensated for them. Not only was I known as a pianist, but also an arranger. By the time I finished primary school, I had finished Grade 8 Practical and I had obtained a distinction. And I had gone all over Malaysia to play, at one time - Sabah in 2000, Johor in 2001, and I had even been to Terengganu and Negri Sembilan (later for choir finals). That deviated me from my passion for a while. I was not just involved in choir competitions : in 2000, there was this awards day in Mariott Hotel KL, and I did a piano solo - I have no recordings of the event, only photos. It was on that day that someone said to me, "One day you will play for the Prime Minister." I was wondering if I ever would. I never performed in front of Dr M, to be honest. In 2002, I was torn between two events - I was a member of the choral speaking team as well as the choir ; the choral speakers had to perform for the King's instillation in the Palace of the Golden Horses (and to think I actually rehearsed for that !), while the choir had to perform in Putra World Trade Centre for the International Book Fair. Finally, I had to miss the performance in Palace of the Golden Horses - they led me to PWTC. I cried because I missed that golden chance of meeting the King. On another note, all the people in PWTC thought I was the star of the day.

I was eight when my cousin Viknesh Ashley (I call him Ashley) came to my place and stayed for the first time. He and I are the same age. I told him about my passion for drums. He too, loved playing them. At least, that was then. He told me everything about his rhythm training and I just stared at him with awe.

Years passed and my UPSR was almost over. I reckoned that I did well, and so did my parents - my dad got me a PlayStation2 (at long last). I did not know what games to pick until one day, my half-bro Hezli gave me a Kingdom Hearts disc - the game was just released. I got captivated by it and I played. You may be wondering why in a drummer's story, there is Kingdom Hearts - well, there is more to come later.

Then secondary school years came. I went there in 2003. My urge to drum got even stronger but I had no idea how to persuade my parents. Worse still, I had no one to defend me. I was just one against many. Watching my friends Shuet May and Yi Ling do fast-paced rudiments on their snare drums during band practice was a pleasure. They handled their drumsticks with such dexterity, using both sides of the stick within a split second. It was like the drum corps in the fictional Atlanta A&T University from "Drumline", only not as good. Just to get a feel of the beat, I would even sneak into class and grab Shuet May's sticks just to practice some beats. (After all, everything I learned on the drums was self-taught. Or rather, Jesus taught me.) That year, I had a homework backlog crisis : my homework was piling from January right up to June and I had trouble in getting it all done - but I finally did. I was never used to afternoon school and I was just relieved to get all the work done ! Some teachers spread false rumours about me - at one time, Pn Rozita (if I am not mistaken) assumed that I was playing with numbers and called me a witch. I am not. I do not practise magic, and never have I practised it in my entire life. I am a devout Christian. And that rumour of hers actually split me in two. I went to school and told the counselor to give her a piece of my mind - I wonder if it really happened.

I asked mom if she could let me play the drums. She insisted that she had no regard for drummer girls. While I was crying myself to sleep, I wondered... if she would ever have un certain regard for me.

I began my French classes in 2004, when I was in Form 2 and I was still 12 years old. I not only got captivated by the language, but over time, the people and the paradoxes as well. And that same year, I swept into my A1 and A2 levels. I wanted to tell someone that I just love playing drums. Not wanting to stir up a commotion (because I still wanted to play drums), I just quietened down and did whatever I felt I had to do.

When I was in Form 4, and I was 15 years old (2006), I went for my first Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) in SFX's Loyola Hall. At that time the Confirmation Course had no worship team, so we had to "borrow" the worship team from Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Klang. I was immersed in the presence of the Holy Spirit, no doubt. But when it came to breaks and everyone else went away except for the worship team, who had to practise, I looked at the drummer... I remember vividly what kit he used, though I am not familiar with the specs and all - it was a Pearl, it was red, and it had two crashes instead of one - one 12" and the other, I am not sure... a 10" splash and double bass pedals. And he was just so good at it. My heart began to pound ! While the other girls were sitting in the basement of SFX chatting away, I was still in Loyola Hall ; I went behind their practice area quietly and wished I could try it too. But it was just a wish. I was just itching to tell her, but she retorted again with all that "girls are not meant to play drums" talk. I cried. No, really, I wept bitterly. And I prayed...... and I tried to hold imaginary sticks and beat an imaginary drum kit while I was alone. Such was my routine when I felt that I could imitate a beat, or when I felt that I just wanted to follow a certain song.

Not long after, Kingdom Hearts II was out (ah, what joy ! I sat down to playing it, immediately !) and its theme song, "Passion/Sanctuary" by Utada Hikaru really captivated me. Especially the drumbeats. And so I still did my air-drumming, and wondered if such a rhythm would be possible for a beginner. And from the soundtrack of Kingdom Hearts II, I learned a few rhythms. *smiles* Think : Passion/Sanctuary, the theme of The World that Never Was...
Months flew by and my "honeymoon" year was almost over. Christmastide came. After all the preppies, presents, fruitcake and cookie-making, mom, dad and I were off to Penang to my grandmother's house. Even my cousins Ashley and Dvya came too. We went for the Christmas Eve midnight mass at Holy Spirit Cathedral, as it was the nearest to the Penang house. And, quite by chance, when I came there and I reserved a seat, I saw... (you guessed it) Aaron. He was practising. I could just feel what was in his heart. His feet on the bass pedal, his head swaying while his hands moved nimbly, seeing him playing the drums was a sight to behold. This was what I always wanted to tell mom and dad, ever since I was small. The way he played the drums spoke for me that night. His playing really brought tears to my eyes, so much so that I could not take it anymore. In front of Ashley, Dvya and the rest of the gang who were seated in the same pew, I told mom, with tears in my eyes, "Ma, I have a confession to make. I have a passion for drums." And on that night, not even the gifts could pacify me.

After Christmas, mom, dad, grandma and I headed off to A Famosa Resort in Malacca and took a tour around Malacca later. I remember while I was in the swimming pool with grandma, she asked me, "Do you really want to play drums ?" I nodded without hesitation. She did ask me to take a good look at how Aaron plays... or Jonathan. Jonathan is another cousin, but a distant one - and they say he plays way better than Aaron. Now, that made me want to brace myself - for if Aaron could make me cry, Jonathan would make me bring sackcloth along with me. I have never seen Jonathan play ; I would like to see him just once. Even if he makes me weep.

Back to the story - then came my SPM year. It was 2007. In school, it was my last year in the school choir (which was later called Ressonnant) and it was my last year as school pianist and song arranger. I just sat down to arranging Putra Putri, I Will Follow You and Can't Take My Eyes Off You before my final training began. Every now and then I would ask Ms Joaan for a few tips (especially as she would be sitting next to me most of the time). At one time, when she gave me a lift home (it was near mid-2007), I picked up her collection of drumsticks, which she left in the car - most of them are Zildjians - I picked up her 7As and tried to imitate the beats in the Planetshakers hymns. Though I have to admit... I dared not touch her favourite Zildjians (5As) - the one with the grips - for fear of making the grip give way. And she saw me beat the air, and corrected me every now and then. It was a happy ride home.

In April, we were preparing for our school carnival. We organised our very first talent competition called Bukit Idol, and I joined it with my friend Naili Jamal, doing a last-minute performance. Surprisingly enough, that landed us in the finals - and made us champions. All I have to remember it are photos ; Naili took the trophy home. I joined it mainly because I enjoy (note : present tense !) singing and making music. It has already been interwoven in my life.

In church, the Confirmation Course had finally decided to set up a worship team and I was one of the resident keyboardists. Our practice room was actually a dark green cabin on stilts, complete with foam pads, a shoe rack, amplifiers, air-conditioning, mike stands and a green Pearl drum kit. Basic four-piece, and it actually matched the cabin colour. Most of the time I would be stuck on one side of the cabin, trying to review scores and songs while the drummers, Evan and Brandon, would be having fun on the other side with a good pair of 5As. They would be so engrossed, they would not let others try. One of my best friends, Cassandra Lee, would be right next to me. It so happened that one day, I told her everything. And I cried. (Luckily the worship leader did not see me do that or else I would be char-grilled by the rest of the team.) I told mom, she retorted, "Why not practise during your practice sessions ?" And I would usually tell her in reply, "Ma, I do not have a chance. I would love to get the feel of an acoustic drum kit but I cannot. Evan and Brandon would not let me play." Till now I never got the feel of an acoustic kit.

In between, I would go to Assumption Church because by then I had already known the Sunset Band : I could identify Aunty Sharm (because she and mom lived in the same Penang neighbourhood once), Uncle Raymund, Uncle Luques, Uncle Cyril and Chrishandra (though I did not know Uncle Cyril's and Chrishandra's names) - and I used to take a close look at the way Chrishandra and Uncle Cyril played the drums. They too, made me want to do some really good beats. I was just... inspired. I wanted to join Sunset Band because I wanted to really serve. My years helping the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Brickfields were futile as the music was as drab as ever, and their Sunset Choir did not want to accept change.... my service was always cut short, and so I quit.

My pre-Confirmation retreat was in late May, between the 26th and the 29th, in Cameron Highlands. We had to bring all our equipment, our Confirmation journals, our Bibles and stuff. Since Evan could not bring his drum kit along, we had to make do with digital drums. Roland-uh ! I remember that on the 27th, when everyone else was in the pantry having their lunch (I had no mood to eat), and I was left alone in the hall, I unzipped Evan's bag, took out his Zildjians (duh, his drumsticks) and attempted to play the drums. I made the volume quite soft, toned down the amplifiers, hoping that no one else would listen except Jesus. But someone else happened to listen : the next moment Evan came and stood right in front of me like some army corporal. Oops.

The verdict ? "Your coordination is out, la, kawan !" I just smiled. All in all, that was my first triumph. A thought rang in my head : "Jesus taught me to play the drums today !" I just celebrated the day and thanked Him for the opportunity. And on the 28th and the 29th, I did the same : I would be seen silently knocking on the drums while the rest of my friends went to eat. Once in a while, my best friends Kiran, Cassandra, Genevieve, Justin and Nathaniel would be there. But whether that would actually convince mom and dad, that was another story. When I came back, I had my Confirmation on June 2nd, and I had to face the fact that I might never see my Confirmation friends ever again. I had to be set on full gear. I had to study. And I never went near a single pair of drumsticks for the next seven months.

I wrote scores for Ressonnant, the school choir, for more than two years - that is, while I was there. As the 50th independence day was approaching, we had to perform in Putrajaya International Convention Centre. Two patriotic songs, all rendered by yours truly and sung by Ressonnant. It was then that the words of the unknown person in 2000 came true - I did play in front of the Prime Minister. And the Education Minister too. Yes, Badawi and Hishamuddin were both there. The ethereal rendition of Jalur Gemilang with slow strings and solo violin added to it moved many, some were even reduced to tears. Even Hishamuddin was. But Badawi... I reckon that there was no expression on his face. All in all, I was quite happy because the words of the person whom I met seven years ago actually came true.
August 9th was my DipABRSM examination and I had to prepare for that too. Trying to juggle my studies with my piano practice, I walked into the examination hall with my school uniform and badges on, doing my recital quite confidently, having that zest for music while speaking to the examiners in the Viva Voce, but........ I did pretty badly in the quick study. And it all went downhill from there : because of that blasted quick study, I failed the entire examination. This was my first failure in a music examination, but this was my umpteenth failure where music was concerned. Mom tried to hide the facts from me, but I was inconsolable for a week. And the worst part was, at the same time the results were out, it was our National Choir Finals and Ressonnant was denied a placing. Immediately after that double disaster struck, I was talking to my prefect friend Sitha Letchumi - she too, was a member of Ressonnant - I was just pathetic. I felt so useless. And even if I had re-attempted the DipABRSM, I would fail too - my sight reading sucks and everyone knows that. So I leaned over to Sitha's shoulders and cried my entire day in school. Even the principal got to know what the DipABRSM results were. But she just told me to press on for the things I wanted so much to do. I had a long list, and many of the things in the list were broken dreams :

- Going to ICOM to live my dream of having a music career.
- Staging a performance for Fete de la Musique during my school years.
- Cutting singles and albums with my genre of music.
- Having a heartwarming concert in the Olympia or any such concert venue, with Ressonnant to back me up.
- Playing the drums well.
- Singing and playing in front of a really large audience, say... more than 12 000 people ?
- Staging at least one of my compositions in school.
- Getting through my DipABRSM.

I did not know how to put the entire list of broken dreams behind me. And again, I just wanted to drum away...

My trials were over, and so was my SPM on December 4th. And gone was my dream of staging at least one of my compositions in school. Also, my school years were over, and I would never be able to perform in Fete de la Musique anymore. I was hoping to get back to playing drums pretty soon, but there was no sign of that either. So to console myself for all the trouble I had seen, I would sit in the room and play Kingdom Hearts II all day long. At night, I would bang my chagrin away on the pillow. Mom was thinking of getting me into drum lessons but eventually did away with that plan because she couldn't get me into a slot, and I was just left to think emo thoughts in my little corner. I continued drumming on my favourite pillow because that was my only way of beating out the rhythm. I would breathe a prayer or two, saying "Jesus, do I have a drummer's hands ?" not out of despair, but out of passion.

January 2008 came, and I was still on leave. I was overjoyed to find that Sunset Band was opening its doors to the public. I jumped at the opportunity and mom and dad were ever willing to send me. After a short audition in Uncle Raymund's presence, I joined the Sunset Band. And there, not only did I meet the familiar faces which I knew ; I also met Cherryne, Melanie, Derrick, Allan, Aunty Valerie, Aunty Betty, the two Jennifers and...... Daniel C.
Daniel was the one who gave me my first pair of drumsticks. And yes, I remember the date. February 13th, 2008. Unbranded, but well... those 5As will always bring back good memories ! We shared a lot together, and we drew close. I soon gained the same closeness with the rest of the Sunset Band members, and in April, I got my T-shirt. "Graduated", so to speak. From the piano or the keyboards, I would occasionally take a look at Uncle Erik or Daniel or even Chrishandra and remember their style of drumming.

In late February, I entered college. Brickfields Asia College. Now in Cambridge A-Levels. And thus my dream of going to ICOM to live my musical dream was shattered beyond repair. I was pushed off track and now I am bound to be a lawyer. I am taking Business Studies, Law and English Literature, as well as the compulsory subjects Moral Studies, Malaysian Studies and Malay Language (which, I may omit from my list because I aced that examination in Form 5).
March came and Uncle Erik had a bad fall. I was like, ouch ! and hoped he would get well soon. So instead of Uncle Erik playing during the Sunset masses, Uncle Cyril came along. He was one of the best I have ever seen - even a normal 8 beat sounded so nice when he played it. Daniel would always refer to Uncle Cyril as shi fu, and he would always do his best to look at Uncle Cyril's playing from behind - I could not look most of the time, and so I just listened. Listening to Uncle Cyril, I turned over to Daniel's side and told him, "My heart beats out a rhythm which I am incapable of beating." Daniel has been constantly playing drums since November 2006 ; and when I told him that, he understood. Truly, God understands the language of my heart better than I do. My heart races when I hear nifty drumbeats, even if I am not yet capable of imitating them.

I sang my first responsorial psalm in Assumption in March. It was a Palm Sunday responsorial - which no one could find a tune to put the words in. I stretched the tune and made it about thirty-two bars long, and that was just about it. I was a little nervous, but when I kept on singing, I gained all the confidence I needed (thank you Lord !) and I enjoyed myself.

April came, and I was still banging on my favourite pillow. This time, my cousin Narin happened to take a look at me closing my eyes and feeling the beat, with tears on my cheeks - she even told mom. I guess she did tell mom because I think on April 6th, mom was talking about this place in Pandan Indah - and we had to go there because "a friend told her about it". And when I came to that place in Pandan Indah, my heart was pounding faster than ever. Let me see... Sinus tachycardia at 135 BPM, I think. Yes, it was that fast. Turned out that Uncle Erik was teaching there. I had a go on the acoustic drums, and after that, Uncle Erik pulled off a solo in front of me (and believe me, it was loud enough for me to consider getting ear protection). Uncle Erik and my mom started talking about getting me a drum kit for my 17th birthday. I was surprised that they did not tell me earlier, but I sure was overjoyed !! And when she finally decided to get me one, she laid down a condition : owing to the fact that I live in an apartment, I have to use digital drums. My heart skipped a beat ; and I remembered that my dream set of drums had been released in September 2007. When asked for the model number and the make of my choice, I only had one thing in mind------
"Yamaha DTXPRESSIV !!!"

My second triumph.

On my seventeenth birthday I went to Yamaha Beatspot in Mid Valley and tested the DTX. The sound was superb, the rebound was good, and they had a whole lot of voices ! And the amp was powerful. I just did a simple rhythm in front of mom and dad before thinking of getting it. Narin was not there with us at Beatspot as she had classes. That day, it was my first time singing and playing the responsorial psalm in Assumption. And with the added happy news from the afternoon, I really enjoyed myself. At the end of the mass, I was touched - everyone joined in the birthday song and Father Simon Lebrooy heard everything, and gave me a blessing with it. I could not help but dress extravagantly that evening ; I had a dinner party later. Early the next day, after signing the purchase form in Kelana Jaya, I finally became the proud owner ! But then again, I had to wait........ they had to deliver it all the way to Desa Petaling, to Sri Lata, and ultimately, to the fourteenth floor. The drum kit was about 5K while the amps and speakers totalled up to be 3K. I was hoping to get the special configuration - the showroom piece - cymbals have their respective three-zone pads, and the snare has a rim, and there is one extra tom and one splash cymbal, a real hi-hat stand and double bass pedals - but my ability prevented me from doing so. And then again, getting a special DTX would burn an even bigger hole in everyone's pockets. So I settled with the standard configuration. But I have to mention, though, a DTX special configuration or anything equivalent, a pair of signed Vic Firths, a pair of green Firestix, a pair of Zildjian dipsticks - they are all in my wishlist.

I began practising on the drums on a regular basis. I just lacked timing but I wanted so much to play well. Daniel keeps on giving me words of encouragement, Chrishandra sent me a five-page long e-mail (which I read with prudence and saved in one of my Windows Live folders), which really inspired me to play well ; then Ms Joaan sent me the link to the YouTube vid. But sometimes, when I think of how long I persisted before actually getting a set of drums (or before being able to play drums, for that matter), and when I look at the rest of the drummers at my age who are way better than I am, I cry. But this is my life now. I have always dreamt of playing the drums well. And Ms Joaan tells me, what was unachievable can be achieved, if we hold on to the dreams we have. As Akira Jimbo says, "when you practise, practise technically ; but when you play, play from the heart." Over the past few days, I have been trying to get my timing right by sleeping with the metronome under my pillow. I would set it at 120, then 100, then 92. And the sequence repeated... until I was able to set the DTX metronome to a softer volume, and then I would set it at 120, 115, 110, 105, 100 and 92 at regular intervals.

When mom got admitted into ICU and the sequence of tests and operations began, I did not have enough time for myself. I had to take a hiatus from my Sunset Band practices and mass sessions. She was first admitted in Subang Jaya Medical Centre, then later, she was transferred to Putrajaya Hospital. I told mom, at one time, that despite the fact that I did not practice on the keys very much, I played the drums. She asked me to play in front of dad. I was wondering when I could ever do so : Dad seemed rather stressed, and I did not want to disturb his long-lost sleep hours. But then, I had the urge to pound on the drums. And so I asked Narin, "Will you join me soon ?" She did not know. I asked her again, "When will Daddy be able to see me play ?" because more often than not, he was away. I am still yearning to play them well, and to welcome mom with the beat of the drums when she comes back home. That is the least a drummer girl like me can do. *sniff* Right now she is still in the hospital and I really want her to come home ! I have so many things to tell her, many untold stories, unspoken secrets...

Even till today, I wonder why whenever I put the drums to full volume (or even medium volume), I get scared to play and my timing goes totally out. But when it is soft, I am hyper-confident. I have no one to dance to my rhythms. But I surely have someone to guide me as I play ! I am still striving to be a great drummer. And when I say great, I wish to glorify the Great One who heard my first rhythms.

I just realised that this blog post occupies about eight Microsoft Word pages, so much so that I had to resize my text and bring it back to the normal size (10). But from now on I am not going to look down upon myself, or let people look down upon me for my drumming... for this is the beginning of my story, and this is my song. Soon, I believe, I will triumph, and it will be so evident, even the fangirls would begin to give up the great and go for the exceptional - the beats will not only be heard by people, but felt. I will use the drums for His glory.

And with this, I praise the Lord, who has made all things possible.

Thus ends Part 1.

(P.S. At the time of writing, my mother was in ICU. Right now, my mother is gone. And many of my ties are broken. Part 2 will be coming soon, depending on the progression of events.)


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