HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Although I’m writing this a little early, I’m already experiencing a blast of enthusiasm as the new year approaches. In fact, three of my holiday presents arrived early! I received courage, confidence and friendship from a new friend, musician and drumset clinician, Kent Aberle.
Evan had asked for me to come up to Virginia to help with an Experience Drums small tour that we were sponsoring for Kent. I came in from Florida, Kent came in from Georgia and we all stayed in the same “hotel” – Evan’s house. What a scene!
Kent had the luxury of sleeping on the floor in Evan’s basement. And me? I took over my nephew’s room. (Jesse was unceremoniously moved to an air mattress in the family room.)
The next few days were filled with a flurry of activity. I kept getting pushed out of my comfort zone. One day I was asked to do manage the free gifts we were giving away and the mailing list. Okay, I like giving out things. That was a piece of cake!
Another day I was asked to actually perform with Kent and Evan. Now that was trickier. I had to get coached on how to play a tambourine – one hour before the event – on front of approximately one hundred and fifty kids and teachers! It would be safe to say that my heart was pounding a million beats per minute! But as the program began, we all got into a groove and I found myself smiling, dancing and actually enjoying the event.
The toughest duty I was asked to perform was to assume the role of the “Camera Girl”. The night before our last workshop, we found out that our regular photographer wouldn’t be available to snap the promotional shots. I was shoved into the responsibility of taking the pictures for the event. I was never really a photographer to begin with. Now Kent’s camera was put in my hands. The camera might have been light but boy did it feel heavy – from the weight of worry!
I was nervous that night. I asked a lot of questions and practiced pushing a lot of buttons. This could have annoyed even the kindest of saints. Somehow, through all of my anxiety, Kent kept his composure. He must have assured me a billion times that this gadget would be in the correct “mode” after I turned it on. I guess Kent was right because the next day, there I was, feeling empowered by his smile and patience, taking pictures at the event.
After he finished the tour, Kent returned to Georgia, leaving me with all kinds of thoughts. Good ones. All the things I learned over the course of a week. All the things I had accomplished. I know that they had a lot to do with Kent Aberle. I’ll never forget his effect on me. I’ll always remember that inspirational talk that we had on how to believe in oneself. He taught me to be confident. He taught me to be strong. He taught me to be brave in times of fear. Kent modeled these words for me. And I was lucky to see it up close and personal.
Kent, if you’re reading this, here’s a message directly from me to you: Thank you for the gifts of strength, courage and inspiration that you gave to me. I’ll know I’ll use them in the new year!
And here’s a message to all of you who are reading this right now:
May you have a wonderful New Year that brings new inspirational friends into your life. Trust me. They’re coming. And when you meet them, I promise you this. Every New Year will be more inspiring then the last!