Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I broke out of my comfort zone in two big ways this weekend; both involving drumming. When it comes to personal challenges, those involving my creative efforts are the most difficult to engage. A failure at something coming from creativity is a personal one, to me. However, I don’t feel that I lost in either of my explorations this weekend.

I’ll start with the last event because I’ve only just sat down from it recently. The wife and I rallied the surrogate siblings (DR Boy and Spazzmanda) to join us in facilitating a drum circle for the United Hospice. The event was held at Tallulah Falls, GA for Camp Cocoon – a bereavement camp for children. Alchemy Drumming & Dance was called to put together a drum circle for children ages 5-17. About 60 of them. So four people made the trip to the Tallulah Gorge with a van full of buckets, beaters, and various percussion instruments. The intense sound of kids with percussion instruments filled every corner of an outdoor gymnasium. My wife and Spazzmanda brought their dance moves to the floor and got everybody hopping to the groove DR Boy and I laid down. I think we found some closet drummers, dancers, and gymnasts! The whole gig was a volunteer effort by the Alchemy crew and I think it was really rewarding to everyone. We got a lot of really great compliments from the camp organizers. Each of us also found a little something in ourselves in the challenge.

I also had a Friday night gig with Christine Zaarour at the Mezza lounge in Decatur. I met Christine at a debke workshop. My wife and her friend were there to learn the dance style and do a couple of performances afterwards. That’s also where I performed my first drum solo, and also the reason Christine was interested in having me out at her performance at Mezza. She’s from Lebanon and doesn’t know any drummers in the area, but “I’m the best drummer she knows” sounds better. It so happened that Mezza was having a private party coming that night and was standing room only. 50 or 60 people showed up to see Christine Zaarour perform her dance routines…and I’d have my ultimate test as a solo drum performer. I think everyone had a really good time – it was really a party by the end of the night, which came quite late. The food at Mezza is really wonderful as well. The nicest people, live entertainment, and delicious Lebanese food – this place has it all! Against the staff’s expectations, I also had some Arabic coffee. It’s not entirely different from the Minas coffee I’ve had from Bosnia.

So a weekend of opportunities taken. Stepping out of my comfort zone; once while performing as a solo drummer for Mezza, and again at Camp Cocoon as a facilitator for children of all ages. I think next weekend I’ll try mowing the lawn. Talk about breaking out of your comfort zone!

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