Rhonda likes to say that I gave her a homework assignment about doing a blog about what she is most proud of when it comes to her fandom. Well, if I gave it to her, then, I gave it to myself, too! That’s not really that cool! Nonetheless, I will complete the assignment and carry on. I hope we, at least, get a passing grade! Ha!
What am I most proud of when it comes to my fandom? It really isn’t an easy question. Rhonda focused on meeting people and making lifelong friendships. Obviously, that is an incredibly valuable achievement and one that I certainly could say as well. I have been lucky in that I have had made some lifelong friendships with both my Duran Duran fandom and an old fandom of mine surrounding a TV show called Roswell. I think the parts of these friendships that I’m most proud of is that they don’t depend on the object of fandom. What do I mean by that? Simple. I met all of these friends I’m referring to through fandom. In the case of many of these people, I met them on various message boards (boards that I don’t go to or boards that don’t exist). The first few thousand conversations surrounded either Roswell or Duran Duran. We talked about when, why and how we became fans. We discussed our favorites, our least favorites and more. Interestingly enough, many of these discussions turned to talking about the fan community around either Roswell or Duran Duran. Luckily, after awhile, we started talking more and more about other things besides Duran Duran or Roswell. Our daily lives became more and more the focus of the times we talked, either in person, in email or on the phone. That didn’t mean that we don’t still mention our shared fandom because we do but that is in balance with the rest of our existences. For example, Rhonda and I spend quite a bit of time talking Duran and everything that comes with but we also talk about family, work, etc. My point here is while I’m proud of these friendships, I’m also super proud that they have deepened in such a way that include both fandom and everything else.
Beyond friendships, which is a huge deal, I’m also proud of myself when it comes to fandom. I’m sure that many of you might be thinking about things like this blog, the meetups and convention, and the book. Truly, I’m very proud of what Rhonda and I have created with this blog and everything connected with it, but nothing beats the pride I feel about the book. What started out as something almost said in jest has become something real, something tangible. We came up with a solid idea, researched a ton, outlined, wrote, revised, edited to have a completed piece of work, a substantial piece of work. While the draft is done, we know that more work awaits. Still, we are very proud that we saw it through this far. It feels huge to me to have written a non-fiction, research-based book. Yet, the pride I feel in myself goes beyond all of the reading and writing. It goes deeper than that. I like that I have pushed myself to ask questions, serious questions that don’t always have a good answer or an answer at all. I continue to question fans, fandom, celebrities, etc. and my role, my behavior within these larger topics.
On top of the personal academic, intellectual achievements, I’m proud that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Before Duran Duran, I would have never really considered traveling to go to a convention or to go to a show outside of driving distance. No way. I might have even said that it is crazy to do that and that it is crazy to spend that kind of money. Yet, those times have been some of the best times of my life. My life would have been a sadder place without these touring adventures. I, for once, embraced life and embraced fun. Truly, my world widened and I’m forever grateful for the push.
Obviously, it is difficult to capture everything that I’m proud of or to determine the proudest moment. Here is what I can say. Duran Duran has brought me lifelong friendships, lifelong achievements and expanded my world. I thank them.