The other day, Amanda mentioned that it had been twelve years since the convention I met her at in New Orleans. I read her blog that day, but I kept going back to the line about it being twelve years.
Where in the hell does the time go?
By my memory, I have been a Duran Duran fan since 1981. I didn’t really get involved in the fan community, until I was an adult. It was 2001 when I stumbled upon duranduran.com, and then later, duranduranfans.com (now defunct). Planning the convention was my first foray into fandom. I’d never done anything like that before, and I still chuckle when I think about how my family reacted towards the idea of my flying across the country to have a convention with people I’d never met before.
I got so involved, so fast. I have a little trouble remembering what I did to occupy my day before being a Duran Duran fan took such a huge role in my life. I do remember though that I was bored. I’m pretty sure my days went from being monopolized by kids, playdates and laundry to all of that plus stolen moments in the afternoon on our upstairs computer, reading and laughing over message board posts…and that was just the beginning.
I have this motto of sorts that I have dutifully recited to my children over the years. No one gets out of childhood unscathed. At this point, I am semi-concerned it will end up on my headstone, but I soldier on. We all have histories and moments from our childhoods that shaped us. In my case, I’m a people-pleaser. I seek approval. I am a rule-follower, and that also means fitting myself into the supposed role that people around me (i.e. my family) have marked as “Rhonda.” Let me be clear: Duran Duran fan was nowhere to be found in that description. Blogger? Nah. Convention planner? No way.
So to read that I’ve been at this full-force fandom thing for twelve years really hit home, particularly since I’m sitting here entering the first full week of my new job. I won’t lie, in a lot of ways I feel as though I’m sliding back down the hill I’ve been trying so hard to climb. Rather than continue to fight the good fight, get a manuscript or four sold, plan some conventions and make this into something – I’m sliding back into the role of “good mom and wife”, because it’s easier.
And easy it is. It is MUCH easier to stop thinking about going to shows. It is simple to just get a job and spend my extra time earning some money to help pay college expenses rather than write and rewrite a manuscript. It is much easier to stop talking about Duran Duran (although he certainly brings them up on his own) in front of my husband. It is easy to tell him I’d rather travel with him than see my friends. And he wants to hear all of those things, no doubt.
But will I really be happier?
Here’s the thing: I’ve spent my entire life doing what was expected of me. There are many, many times I can point out where I did what my parents expected rather than what I might have really wanted purely because I needed their approval. I had to have it, no matter what. Even as an adult, I have often done what was expected rather than take the more arduous route purely because it was easier. I took the easy ways instead of fighting because I didn’t want people mad at me, and I can see and feel myself doing that now. It is frustrating, and I think a lot of people reading will probably be able to relate, whether you’re a mom, single, childless, female or male.
I suppose that for me, the trick is whether I’m willing to find the sweet spot where I can do the things I want to do and still be a responsible adult, wife, and mom. Even just trying to find that balance is going to cause strife because no matter what I do, someone is always mad unless I do what everyone else wants. I just don’t know if I can fall back into that role and feel satisfied…and I don’t even know if I want to try.
Funny thing, Dom retweeted this picture from @Barneydrums this morning. It’s pretty appropriate, except I think my version would have “buy concert tickets” as the other option.
So, that’s a quick glimpse into what has been occupying my thoughts lately. I’m about to run off to work now, so I will shut all of that of which honestly is a bit of a relief. Sometimes it’s easier to put one foot in front of the other and just go.