Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone has had a safe, healthy, happy and fun start to the new year! As we, officially, close the book on 2015 and open the new one for 2016, I do want to reflect on the finished story of 2015 and how Duran Duran marked some interesting moments within the year.
My 2015 began on a super early morning as my family prepared to fly from the Boston area, where my brother lives, to either the Midwest in the case of my parents and I or to the Southeast for my sister and her family. The sun had not risen as we departed for Logan International Airport on a well-below freezing morning. It was not long into our drive that it became obvious to everyone that my brother’s car had a major flat tire. With our flight time quickly approaching, we did everything in our power to make sure that we would make it on time. My brother worked to get a spare tire on while I tried to call for a taxicab. Through good fortune of seeing a cab and being able to wave it down, we got to the airport with a few minutes to spare. At the time, we all just thought this would make for an interesting story and moved on. Now, looking back on the year, I realized that this was an omen, a metaphor for the rest of the year.
2015 was marked with road blocks that needed to be overcome. On a personal and, most significant, note, the biggest road blocks came in April, right around my trip to attend the David Lynch Foundation Show in LA, which was actually one of the best highlights of the year. Before I left for that “show” (Do three Duran songs equal a show?!), I wasn’t certain I was doing the right thing by going. Rhonda and I had decided to take a break from the blog. Durantime was killing us–we struggled to come up with blogging material and many people seemed frustrated by what we were saying or who we are. We needed to step back to see that we DO still enjoy writing and DO still love to write and analyze fandom and the Duran fandom, most specifically. The “show” in LA also reminded us about why we got into this to begin with. Seeing each other and other friends brought back the essential idea that fandom is really all about connection and friendship. It is about having fun!!! We had that in abundance during my brief trip out to California. By the time the trip ended, I knew that I made the right decision in going for so many reasons, for the blog, for my friendship with Rhonda, for the much needed fun. The road block of Durantime seemed to be overcome and I felt stronger and happier. We were also ready to dive back into blogging in earnest! Yet, during the drive home from the airport, after landing in Chicago, my mom told me that she had found a lump and was going into to get it looked at. My heart sank at hearing this and a new road block began to grow.
By the end of April, my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and this new road block truly seemed impassable. As the terrible diagnosis morphed into treatment, I began to notice that Duran Duran was making their presence felt through releases of some songs off of Paper Gods, to presales for some fall shows, to more press and more. I felt like the band and their activity was keeping me afloat or to keep the analogy going, that the band was keeping my engine running. They provided the much needed distraction and they also helped to match the growing hope that my mom would make it through. There was a light at the end of the tunnel.
As the release date of Paper Gods approached as did the shows in the US in the fall, I knew that, somehow, the cancer road block was slowly coming down. Mom had made it through chemotherapy as well as can be expected and was ready for the last step with radiation. Within days of my going on tour, Mom began her radiation treatments. As she seemed to suffer few ill affects, I knew that she would make it and I had a sense that the tour would be one of the best ever, which it was. What made the fall tour so fabulous? Was it partly due to me knowing that my mom would get through it all? Possible. Was it having REALLY amazing seats? I’m sure that added to it. Was it because those shows represented a large oasis in the desert known as Durantime? Was it because of those previous LARGE road blocks of my mom and struggling with blogging were coming to an end? I would say yes to all of the above. All factors played a role. At the end of the tour, it seemed clear to me. That Duran “show” in April was one bookend and the fall tour was another when it came to the major road blocks in my life.
Of course, more road blocks came into existence after the tour with more negative feedback from some fans to scary, upsetting world events. Yet, I know that Daily Duranie is stronger now than where we were at the beginning of 2015. I know that my mom is stronger now, too. Road blocks were faced, head on, and demolished. In 2015, I learned how strong I can be and I hope Rhonda can say the same. My mom learned how strong she can be. That lesson of 2015 will lead to a better 2016. While obviously I am hoping for no road blocks, I know that I won’t be letting any that do pop up stand in my way. I have serious work to do and serious fun to have this year so bring it on!