Before I ever picked up an instrument, I was "playing the piano" on the bricks of my fireplace or singing into an imaginary microphone. I think I wanted to be Michael W. Smith. Or Michael Jackson. I wanted to be on stage.
When I was old enough, my dad bought me my first guitar for Christmas and started teaching me. Then at 13, he gave me my first electric guitar and started teaching me music theory which showed me the foundational secrets of how music works. I started playing little made up tunes for family and friends. Their responses tapped into my innate desire to be the center of attention. I started to realize that this was all I wanted to do.
In middle school, I wanted to join the concert band and play the saxophone just because I really liked that Pink Panther song. So they put me in percussion... Can't have too many saxophones. In high school, I joined the marching band playing the quints, picked up some piano on the side, some bass guitar, and even drums in the jazz band. And I got to use all of those skills in the church band.
As an adult, I joined the U.S. Navy Band as a drummer. I began expanding my skills into songwriting, composing, and even taking up audio engineering. After my enlistment, I tried starting several music projects/bands that just didn't work out, so I enrolled into Full Sail University where I eventually received my Bachelor's in Recording Arts. I gained a lot of technical knowledge about sound, but I still wasn't in my dream.
It wasn't until I started performing as a solo act that I started doing what I've always wanted to do: SING. Singing songs that I wrote. Being the front man. I had been a follower for so long that it was time to lead. I started taking voice lessons. I got good. Good enough to start getting paid to sing at bars, private parties, and even leading worship at my church.
It's been a long journey, but I'm closer to my dream than ever before.