Jaimie Choi is a guitarist, drummer, mom, blogger living in Atlanta, GA, and well, that all makes her an artist. Here, she describes her journey toward playing the drums, her social shift, a move to Atlanta that sparked the gear-up toward music, and what she’s doing now. She will be a regular here on tomtommag.com and in Tom Tom Magazine, so watch out, she’s a real poet, and this blurb just might bring a tear to your eye.
The lost years: that’s what I call my early years of parenthood. I was too tired, busy, and enamored with my babies to even think about playing music. I went from being a punk rock socialite to living and breathing mommyhood. At first, I welcomed the break. No more keeping up with bands. No more scene profile to maintain. No more practicing. I was an adult now. Married with children. I had more important things to do with my time.
And then the anxiety came. Some days I found myself cleaning things that didn’t need cleaning. Other days I cried while rocking one of my kids to sleep. I loved my new role as a mom, but I missed my friends and my music community. It sounds cliché, but I honestly didn’t recognize myself anymore. It took a few years before I figured out what I was doing wrong. Five years, actually.
I always needed artistic expression to live fully, and here I was denying myself the very thing that made my life whole. And why? It’s not like playing an instrument I already owned was out of the family budget or something. I had to give myself permission to exist outside of motherhood.
I slowly started playing music again. My primary instrument is guitar, so I would write songs here and there and then forget about them. It wasn’t until my family relocated from Virginia Beach to Atlanta that I got serious about playing again. I started a blog about moms who are artists and musicians, and I started to practice what I blogged in a major way.
I finally jumped on the lifelong dream to learn how to play drums, and shortly thereafter met a musician mom in my neighborhood who needed a drummer. I play guitar or drums in a couple of bands now. And no, we’re not playing children’s music!
I’m really excited to share my experience as a mom and musician with you. I hope I can encourage more moms to keep playing through all the ages and stages of parenthood. I’ll be sharing my journey and those of other mama drummers, as well as talking about female drummers in the Atlanta area.
A mom friend of mine recently described her return to painting as “coming out of the fog.” No one runs out of a fog. It’s more of a tiptoe toward a clearing. Like a baby taking her first steps, we may stumble along the way, but we’ll be running in no time.