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!!! 😉