when i was in 4th grade, we were given a choice of instruments to play. i chose the drums because i tapped a lot. they gave us a book, a drum pad, and some sticks. i was a terrible student! i didn't practice. i mean, what kind of fun is a pad? but i perservered, and on my 12th birthday, my parents were foolish enough to buy my a 5-piece drumset. this kit (affectionately dubbed "shitkit") has now seen most of the U.S. and a long stretch of western Canada. i feel incredibly blessed to play the drums, and that i have parents who were so supportive of something that many consider disruptive. drums gave me something to focus my energy on. when i began, i was obsessed with the drums themselves, and players who could dazzle me with their technical wizardry. as time progressed, and especially after my arrival in new york, i realized that drums were just a means to make music, which was the grander goal. i have never considered myself particularly adept at music. i am practically tone deaf. it never came easily. but this only strengthened my resolve, because the point is not to attain your desires, but to work towards them. drums have taken me to places i would never have visited. i've met so many wonderful people through musical endeavours, and there's no real end in site. my goals and abilities have shifted around over the years, but i am thankful that i have music as a constant in my life. thus spake zaraliam.