I’m Just the Drummer
A few years ago, I attended an event that had a specific dress code (think: ladies tea party formal). Something you should know about me is that I really am a follow-the-instructions type of chick. So, if you request the attendees to wear chartreuse, welllll, I may moan a bit but I will search high and low to locate this crazy shade of green (that does nothing for my complexion with yellow undertones, by the way), suit up, suck it up and join the festivities…all with a smile, cuz that’s how my mama raised me.
You know you march to the
beat of your own drum, right?
Upon arrival, however, an urgent conversation with myself was of the utmost importance…
To self: “Ahem, um, self, we seem to be a bit overdressed for the occasion. Perhaps I mis-read the instructions? Maybe the attire request was optional ore merely a suggestion? Folks won’t think I’m trying to show anyone up will they?”
Still feeling a bit untethered, I immediately reached out to my dearest friend of many years…
Text to friend: “I think I may be a bit overdressed.”
Response: “Why? Are people not dressed in the requested attire?”
Text to friend: “A few people are…I just feel a bit awkward.”
Response: “Girl, you’re fine. You know you march to the beat of your own drum right?”
And there you have it. With that one final sentence, I was immediately put at peace. You know what, she’s right – I do and since a young child have, marched to the beat of my own drum. I’m unique, different, don’t necessarily fit into the norm and in most instances, I stand out in a crowd. But not for the reasons that you may think. My style, hair & make-up, even my countenance is not the reason I stand out. I stand out because I acknowledge and now accept the fact that the Drum Major (i.e. God) has chosen and assigned me, Kelli Michelle, my own unique, peculiar drum….my own unique, peculiar purpose and assignment…and that day, I began to own it!
Stick with me on this…
Although I finished my Bachelor’s degree in my early 30s , I completed my first two years at Howard University in Washington, DC. For those that are not familiar with this prestigious university, along with noted historical figures and well-known men and women who are listed as alumni, it has a rich legacy of teaching its students the rich African American history and traditions.
You see the key component to
any great marching band is the
One such tradition is the marching band. (I would recommend doing a google search of marching bands in order to gain info about how incredible this experience happens to be.) You see, the key component to any great marching band is the drum major. As the members of the flags, twirlers, horns, tubas, saxophones and the infamous drum lines – to name a few – serenade the crowd as they make their way with jaw dropping precision around the field. It’s evident that the rehearsals that go well into the night, taking place in an uncovered field in the peak of the summer, through inclement weather including rain and other forms of precipitation, have produced the end result of what we get the privilege to enjoy. Intricately orchestrated routines that have been rehearsed ad nausea, lead to the crowd going wild as they enjoy the show being performed before their very eyes. All at the direction of the drum major.
While the drum major is present, in most instances his/her visibility is minimal. You see, his/her job is to direct, the job of the band members is to perform. His/her presence is well known and seen during rehearsals – when the instructions are given and the correction takes place and validation is dispensed. No one sees this part because that is practice time…the time outside of the view and the glare of the crowd. Because when the group gets out on the field, it’s time to perform.
And guess what
But each instrument, flag participant and twirler has a role to play. And each of their roles are important…if they don’t function in their unique role, it can throw the performance of the whole group off and greatly diminish the overall experience of those attending. Essentially, they must march to the beat of their own drum in their head…as instructed by the drum major.
So, here I sat at the table in my peculiar outfit, feeling totally at peace now. I have been assigned a role by my Drum Major (i.e. God) – and a peculiar one at that. And guess what peculiar chix? SO HAVE YOU! So march on my friend, march on!