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By the Fingernails - The Daily Duranie

By the Fingernails

It’s My Own Way today. That is your cue to recognize that today’s blog is from my point of view, and it’s going to be kind of a lot!

We’ve got a new album, fantastic new music, new merch, brand new theme, and even a new website with duranduran.com. I love where the band is at and what’s going on with them. My own life, the things I’m doing, people I’m close with, are all things that make me happy. It’s all good.

If that’s the case though, why do I feel like I’m having to force myself to stay in tune with what’s going on with the band these days? I love this band with a lot of my heart, but I’m having a hard time staying motivated with day-to-day happenings!

Does that even make sense? Let me put it this way, if I was on a path cut into squares – each square being one part of whatever it is that I’ve done or experienced in my life, I would say that most of my body has moved on to another square, but I’m not quite ready to give up the square I was just in. I’m barely holding on by my fingernails. I still love Duran Duran, but it feels like a very long time since I’ve really been able to BE in fandom – you know, go to shows, see people, do things, talk to DD friends in person and so on – that maybe I’ve lost some of the motivation it takes to do it?

Part of this is just the pandemic, and I think many people are in the same spot I’m in. It’s been over two years since I’ve seen most of my DD friends. That has been an adjustment. Lately, I’ve had to relearn how to be a fan experiencing the new music out here on my own as a Duranie again, which is weird. There are people I miss, but I also recognize that I can’t go back to the way things were. I’ve changed. The world has changed. I think during the past couple of years, I filled up a lot of the time and space I willingly gave to Duran Duran with other things. Now, I’m just used to it. This sort of reminds me of how things changed for me as I went from high school to college and beyond. I still loved Duran Duran and naturally when I’d hear the band’s name I’d perk up, but I don’t think I paid as rapt attention.

The same sort of thing holds true with many of the friends I’ve made along the way. Sometimes you meet people in life that are for a specific purpose, and as your life evolves, those friendships aren’t meant to last. Yes, it can be sad, and in other ways, resolute. I had great friends in childhood that I haven’t seen or spoken to in years, and not because of anything except that we all grew up, moved on and lost touch. I have very fond memories of them, but I’m sure by now, they are incredibly different people from the children I once knew. The same holds true for some friends in adulthood. It isn’t that we’re not friends, it is that we’ve all moved on to different things. Our lives have changed, as have our interests. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that at times, it has been difficult and sometimes painful. At other times though, I’m almost relieved. I just couldn’t keep going the way I was.

The other part of this is just life. Certainly the evolution of friendships is part of life, but I mean other things as well. For example, I’m not in my twenties or thirties any longer. While I still go to see concerts, I can guarantee they haven’t included the late night (if not all night) scenes of debauchery and craze they once were. My interests are a lot different now than they were even ten years ago. Two out of my three kids are grown, Walt and I are working hard to put in an orchard, and on top of that, I’m very involved in my community band. I don’t know that I’m quite as thrilled about new pictures of Duran Duran as I once was. That isn’t to say I don’t care, but it does feel like my days of swooning finally came to a natural sort of end. Doesn’t mean I don’t love the band or that I wouldn’t get tongue tied around them – I really have no idea – but it does mean that I don’t gush in the same way I did before. It’s sort of strange too, because it isn’t as though I’ve made a conscious decision to stop, as though I’m suddenly too dignified (hardly!) I just realized one day that I don’t really do it much.

Then there is just me in general. For many years, I felt immense pressure to be a certain way, and to do certain things to make people happy, and I can’t keep up anymore. The maintenance was killing me. Maybe it still is. This summer, most of that was brought to a head when my doctor finally sat me down and bluntly said that if I didn’t make some serious life changes right that very second, I would not be around much longer because as she saw it, I was (and still am) living on borrowed time. I love my doctor because she doesn’t pull punches. I mean, if you’re going to tell someone they’re a walking time bomb, best to come right out with it, right?

What I’ve had to get used to doing far more than I have previously been comfortable with, is saying no. I’ve had to really force myself, and it hasn’t always gone well. I am a fixer and people pleaser by nature, and when someone – anyone – wanted me to go somewhere or do something, I would easily be talked into it, even if it was to my own detriment. When family put demands on me, I took all of it on, feeling the need to repair life circumstances that just cannot easily be fixed. I believed it was my responsibility to keep people happy, fix the issues, be the confidant, sidekick, and reason for somebody else to have something to look forward to, or to at least be the catalyst making it all happen. Not to mention constantly feeling apologetic and unworthy for not having the same opinion or views.

There are a thousand reasons why my first instincts are to be and do all of these things, but the bottom line is that I can’t anymore. I can’t be the person some friends thought I was, because I’m just not. I spent too many years putting too many demands, and way too much pressure on myself, walking on eggshells, trying to be the best wife, friend, fan, etc. I can’t say I was successful at much of it, either. Juggling is not one of my best attributes, no matter how long I’ve tried to practice! I am just some wife and mom who liked Duran Duran, started a blog, had some friends, saw some gigs, and attempted to burn the candle at every which end. I’m down to a teeny stub of wax with a very short wick, at this point.

I’m trying my best, but sometimes, I feel like I’m barely hanging on. Don’t we all? Fandom is one of those extra things for me. Maybe that’s the real issue. At one point, it felt like so much more than an extra. I spent so much of my time developing the site and trying to create a community. I can’t say I still do that. On the other hand, fandom is supposed to be a hobby; but in my case, it has been sort of like a hobby on steroids, simply because I took it one step – or a hundred steps – further with this website. None of this is really about Duran Duran though. I still love the band as much as always. I couldn’t be any prouder of their new album. I just don’t know if I can necessarily keep up by doing fandom in the same way I always did. What that really means for me, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just going to have to figure that out as I go.

When we started Daily Duranie, we wanted to share what it is like to be a fan of Duran Duran. Well, this is what it’s like for me today. Things change all the time. This week, I feel like I’m not doing a good job of being a fan. Maybe next week or next month, it’ll be different again. I’m still so very proud to be able to say I’m still a Duran Duran fan, and that they’ve got an amazing new album called Future Past that connects the dots of the past to the present and future so perfectly, I would have thought they’d planned the entire thing. Sometimes, you just have to hold on to that feeling, and let the rest take care of itself for a bit.

-R

By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.

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