I love writing this blog for many reasons. I love talking about Duran and about fandom. I love questioning and organizing ideas. I love it so much that I often find myself writing the blog in my head while I drive, in the shower, as I fall asleep at night, and more. I often know what I’m going to blog about days in advance unless there is something new that comes up that demands my attention. I know what I will write about tomorrow and on Sunday. I already have ideas. Yes, I’m crazy or sick or a combination of both. I thought I knew what I was going to write today a few days ago. It was a solid idea with a clear point. Now, it is a little foggy but that is the beauty of writing. It forces me to organize my thinking enough to put my ideas into words that others may understand.
The other day Rhonda wrote a blog that could be summarized by saying that when it comes down to it, this blog, fandom is all about friendship. I couldn’t agree more. My friendships are extremely important to me. I don’t have many close friends and I’m not the easiest person to know or to understand. Many times, my actions come across one way when, in reality, they are based in fear of rejection. This misunderstanding is always possible with friends but is only increased when friendship is combined with work. Work has generally been the area, the arena, the only place that I have experienced success. I always did well in school from elementary through graduate school. My first ten years of teaching were filled with recommendations from parents and administrators. It the facet of my life that I have felt most confident about. At times, in my life, I have allowed people close to me to enter a “working situation” with me. In college, I started a political advocacy organization with my best friend at the time. It was really my baby and I dragged him along for the ride. I felt like it brought us closer and gave us a significant shared experience, one that we only could know and understand. Then, recently, as an adult, I recruited my parents into campaigning with me. Again, I was the “leader” of the team and they followed. It made the experience of campaigning all the more special to me, especially on election nights in November 2008 and 2012, when my parents hugged me as they have never before, knowing that we accomplished something huge by helping elect a President, an historically significant one at that. It brought us closer.
Now, of course, I have also developed strong friendships from working with people as well. A number of my friends here are fellow co-workers. Many of those friendships became closer when we fought to keep our rights to have a teachers union. One of my closest friends here is someone who had the same position I did in the Obama campaign. We really feel like we battled and then celebrated by going to the Inauguration together. My parents became good friends with another couple who campaigned with us, too. There is something that can happen when you work and work hard towards a very challenging task. Celebrations are never better with victories and support is never stronger when there are losses. Of course, when those bonds aren’t formed, those working relationships can be tough and can make the struggle much more challenging. I have had plenty of that experience, too. I know that negative or even neutral working relationships can taint both the work and the outcome.
Unlike those negative or neutral working situations, Rhonda and I were friends before we decided to work together. I don’t think I really thought much about how our friendship would be when I mentioned that we should write a book together. I doubt that she thought much when she suggested this blog. We weren’t concerned about our friendship with the convention. We have been able to work together rather seamlessly. While I’m sure that there are moments for both of us when we might question the other, we always listen and consider the other person’s ideas and suggestions. It has been pointed out to us that this smooth process is obvious to anyone who watches us together. We balance each other out and provide strengths where the other person lacks. Honestly, in hindsight, sometimes, I’m in awe that we do work so well together because it is such a rare thing, in my opinion, and because we really had no clue how well we would work together when we started.
In thinking about this, I started to think about the friendship between John and Nick. We all know that they were friends as kids but they weren’t that close. John had other friends for sure. Yet, when the band really got going, they seemed to share a vision about where the band was headed, what their goals were, how to pursue their dream, etc. Now, they have been friends for decades as well as being colleagues and business partners. We also know that their friendship hasn’t always been smooth. John wanted to do Power Station and Nick went to Arcadia. John left and their relationship suffered, according to John’s autobiography. In fact, I believe, in that book, John mentions that he is closer to Simon now and it definitely seemed like he was closer to Andy at one point. I started to wonder if this pattern of ups and downs, close and less close was simply unavoidable for any friendship that took that risk of combining work with friendship. If so, is this the route I should continue on with Rhonda? Is this what our friendship is going to be like if we continue to work together?
I have thought a lot about this in the last few weeks and months. Even though I didn’t think too much about what might happen if we worked together when we started on this path, I still believe exactly what I said here. We work well together. I know it. She knows it. Other people have agreed with that. I also know that accomplishing something amazing can bring people closer or can bond people in a way that only a victory through struggle can. Yet, I also know that like Nick and John, we might not be in the same place, at the same time, work wise, emotionally wise. Logically, I get that. Of course, I do. Emotionally, my fear of rejection clouds my judgement and demands proof that this isn’t about me and about not wanting to work with me if she chooses a different path, which is silly and something I struggle with, especially at this time, in my life, when I’m need to move forward to do something different, very different, career wise. I’m feeling a little more fragile than normal, I guess.
I’m not sure where we are going to go from here. Rhonda has mentioned that she isn’t sure what 2014 will bring. I don’t know either. I know that we can’t go back and, frankly, I wouldn’t want to. I like what we have accomplished together. I can’t change my past and how experiences have shaped me. I know that we started down a path and have had an experience that no one else on the planet can really get. Where will that path take us now? I don’t know. It is possible that we will go down separate paths like Nick and John did even within the big path of music, meaning that we will continue to be in the realm of fandom but through different means. It is possible that I have to start some things on my own or venture into a different space entirely. Of course, there is a chance that keep going together. What I do know that my friendships are so important to me. I also know that “work” is a big deal to me. It seems to me that I have to find a way to be okay with whatever happens from here and hope that everything is alright in the end for me, for her and for us.