May is always an interesting time for me. It is the end of the school year. This means that the way life is right now will end soon, never to be quite the same again. I think about my classes and the kids who come in on a daily basis to hang out. Next year, I’ll have new kids with different kids popping in and out of my classroom. Some of my colleagues will remain the same and others will change. The end of the school year almost always means that I stop, look around and think about my life a bit. I take stock.
One element that I have to acknowledge is my fandom and this place. Most of the time, I don’t even really think of this blog. It is just part of my daily routine. There isn’t much questioning on my part. No “should I still be writing this blog” or “should I take a break”. Unlike my paid gig where I do take the time to look around, think about how things are and how they will be, I don’t here. Maybe, I should, though.
Rhonda and I have been writing this blog for six and a half years. We have created over 3,000 posts and have had hundreds of thousands of page views. That is pretty remarkable, isn’t it? While we have taken some time away for various reasons, for the most part, we have posted something daily. On top of that, I look at the Duran fandom and see plenty of what we do here replicated, including Duran history or surveys. Clearly, we have readers who check out what we write on a daily basis and still others who read a few posts a week every week.
Beyond the statistics of the blog, I think about what it has meant to me. On one hand, it has become a diary of sorts. I have discussed many personal issues on this blog from political campaigning to my job to my parents’ health. This diary has also captured the band’s history in the last six years. Just the other day, Rhonda mentioned about the 2011 shows that had to be cancelled due to the fact that Simon lost his voice. We documented that here. In fact, we have documented two album releases and many tours, at this point. Have we captured every single thing? Of course not but we have talked about quite a bit.
Fandom is an interesting element in someone’s life. For me, I have had some fandoms my whole life. Those fandoms including Star Trek and the White Sox, represent my family, my childhood. They are like comfort foods or a security blanket. I feel safe when I think about them. Then, there are the fandoms that I participated in for awhile that might have brought me great times and good friends but couldn’t last. Duran Duran fandom, though, is in a category all by itself. While it has existed in my life for decades, it is not as old as my family connected ones. Like the short term fandoms, it has brought me amazing times and experiences along with good friends. Yet, it has been so much more than all of those others combined. It has a grasp on my heart and soul that the others don’t come close to.
When I think about why this fandom matters so much to me, I consider the history I have with being a Duranie. Memories of tours, conventions and friends pop in my head. I immediately think of all of the tremendous shows I have been fortunate enough to attend. Yet, this blog is a big part of the picture, too. It has kept me grounded into this fandom in a way that all of the other elements of the fandom could not. It keeps me always thinking about Duran. I’m forced to pay attention to what the band is doing even when I’m distracted by real life or other concerns. Some of you might view what see this as an unfun responsibility, but I don’t. I’m thankful for it. The blog allowed me to really commit to a fandom that I love more than words can ever show.
I don’t know what my fandom would have been like without this blog. Maybe I would have walked away at some point. Perhaps, I wouldn’t remain as involved or I would have dived deep into something else. On top of that, I’m proud of what Rhonda and I have created here. I think that 6.5 years is pretty impressive. To be honest, I’m not sure where or when it would ever end either. No, this blog and this fandom of mine are truly lifelong commitments.