You Don’t Have to Dream It All, Just Live a Day

All the convention talk has made me think back to that grand year of 2004.  I was at a strange crossroads that year.  I had been involved in a different fandom since about 2000 but that was coming to a close.  During that fandom, I didn’t do a lot with the fan community, at least in person.  I was on the message boards quite a bit but didn’t go to that fandom’s conventions or events.  The one thing I did do was get together with nearby fans in the fall of 2002.  In fact, I still get together with the majority of that group to this day.  We have become life long friends, which wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t reach out to each other.  During our local fan get togethers, we did talk about the fandom’s conventions as two of them had gone to them.  I remember sitting in my friend’s living room and looking through their pictures.  Part of me was jealous.  A lot of me was jealous.  What was I jealous of?  Simple.  I was jealous both of their experiences with other fans at these large, cool events but I was also jealous of their ability to go to those events.  Initially, I dismissed these feelings by saying that I couldn’t afford to go all the way to California or New York, which is where those conventions were.  Yes, money is always an issue and it certainly was at that time for me since I was paying for graduate school.  That said, for me, this was more of an excuse.  I was scared. 

I was scared to travel.  I was scared at all that socializing.  What if I don’t get along with anyone?  What if nobody would go with me?  What if, what if, what if…I could go on and on and I did, in my head.  Yet, as I heard more and more about my friends’ experiences, the less I was able to dismiss my desire to go to events, too.  While I feared rejection from these other fans, I had to believe that it would be okay since we were all fans.  We had something, and something huge, in common.  Unfortunately, despite my increasing courage, I never made it to any of that fandom’s conventions as they soon became very few and far between.  In the end, I still benefited from this as I was much more likely to go to one in say…another fandom, a fandom a little closer to home.

In 2003, as we all know, Duran had reunited and were playing gigs in small venues in various places in the States.  I had heard of the reunion but it didn’t catch my attention.  Perhaps, that is because I was still involved in this other fandom.  Maybe, and more likely, it is because I didn’t allow myself to think much about it.  I was finishing my master’s degree.  This, of course, required an action research project (education’s master’s thesis).  I was deep into finishing that in the fall of 2003 when Duran came to Chicago.  I didn’t even consider going.  Yet, Duran was sitting there in the back of my mind.  Strangely enough, soon after I graduated, one of the people who was involved in that other fandom mentioned to me that she liked Duran.  That’s all it took.  I had to find out everything I could about Duran and what they were up to!  I dived into Duranland and haven’t left since!

Fast forward a little bit to middle of 2004, to when I was really ready to become a part of the Duran fan community.  I found a little message board called DuranDuranFans.  This message board seemed to be friendly.  Even better, they seemed to be talking about a convention!  What’s this?!  A Duran Duran Fan Convention?!  I must go.  I was ready.  I had been ready.  Yet, of course, I still had to quiet down my inner voice of worry.  One significant thing worked to overpower this voice.  Shows.  Concerts.  Gigs.  Tours.  I knew that they were coming.  All of Duranland knew they were coming in 2004.  After all, an album was about to be released with a massive tour to follow.  What do shows have to do with conventions?  Simple.  I wanted to make sure that I had people to go to shows with me.  I knew that I was going to want to go to concerts but wouldn’t want to go alone.  I needed friends as into Duran as I was to go with. 

I went to the convention as we all know.  Did the convention do what I expected it to do?  It did and more!  I met MANY people to go to shows with.  Beyond that, the convention was a complete blast!  I had so much fun!  Still, after all these years, the convention is one of my favorite experiences of all time.  Why?  Well, that it truly a topic of another blog, which I will do.  I will say this much.  It gave me courage to travel, to go out of my comfort zone, which was SO necessary for everything I have done in Duranland since then.  On top of that, I met this other person there.  You all might know her and my life hasn’t been the same since!!!  😉

-A

2 thoughts on “You Don’t Have to Dream It All, Just Live a Day”

  1. Amanda I am so happy you were at the 2004 convention! It was an amazing experience and I walked away with many friends (most of we have together). I understand the worry you had going to a new place with new people. I was in the same boat. Thankfully, we have a lot more experiences under our belts and we can all reconnect in October! Hooray! Big thanks to you & Rhonda for organising the convention! I know it will be a fun filled weekend and I can't wait to see you all again. *hugs*
    Lisa

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