On a warm Monday evening in July, about a month after I began taking lessons, Lucia, Sidy and I were standing outside Black Rep waiting to go in. We were chatting about the class. At one point I said that I had always wanted to be a musician.
"Now you are." Sidy replied.
I laughed it off. How can someone who has been playing for a month call themselves a musician?
"Maybe someday." I said. "Maybe someday."
But when I looked at him, I realized that he was serious.
To him, it was simple: I play drums. Even if I suck at it, I am still a musician. A bad one. Yes. A new one. Yes. But a musician nonetheless.
I think, in that moment, something shifted. I allowed myself to see the possibility of what I could be, rather than stay stuck in what I have been. I started to think of myself differently.
Later, he said that he wanted us to get good enough so we could play out with him. Which of course scared the crap out of me. But it also gave me something to work towards. A musician plays out. I started to practice more.
Why does it matter what we say about ourselves?
I don't know. But it does.
I am a musician.
Who do you say you are?