Time for me to give an update, I think. It has been awhile since you all heard from me. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s not. Nonetheless, I thought I would share some personal updates, talk about the blog a little as well as my fandom and where I hope I’m headed.
If You Wanna Make a Difference
As many of you might know or remember, this past summer and fall were tough ones for me. I was not in a good place, emotionally, and was facing the hardest decision of my life. Do I leave teaching? Do I walk away from a long term career? One that I could retire from in about ten years? One that I had spent decades in? Public education is something I feel so strongly about. It has the capability of improving the lives of individuals. It also should prepare students to be critically thinking, compassionate citizens of the world. I always viewed my role as a teacher as a political act and goodness know that I and people like me were and are the center of many targets. While there were many, many reasons to stay, including the fact that I was darn good at it, I simply couldn’t stay. The constant battling for respect from the district, the state, the public and even from friends and family was too much. The complete lack of consideration for me and my well-being forced me to push myself out of my comfort zone. This led me to resign from the school district in the fall, taking a temporary position as a political organizer.
I have been in the same organization since then and am still amazed at how lucky I feel to be a part of an organization working on behalf of democracy. They treat all the employees so, so, so well. It feels like night and day from what I used to deal with and everyday I’m appreciative. At first, I don’t think I was very good at my job as I had a lot to learn but I learned quickly and made up for my lack of knowledge with creative hustle and detailed planning. This led the organization to offer me a full time, permanent position as the Wisconsin State Director, leading all political campaigns in my home state. When I took the job in September, I felt like I was jumping off a cliff, where I could not see what I would land on, how far down I would go and whether or not I would even survive. It was a HUGE risk and one that paid off. I love the work that I’m doing and feel so, so, so lucky.
The More I Take, The More I Break
Looking back on a lot of my adult life, I realized how much I put up with. The constant stress took a lot out of me. As I have said here in one of my last updates, I have been struggling more and more with my health. Based on my symptoms and family history, my doctor suspected an autoimmune disease. Well, after multiple tests and visits to a rheumatologist, that autoimmune condition was confirmed. Initially, I was glad for the official diagnosis. All of my symptoms weren’t just in my head. It also means that I know more about what to watch for and how to deal. That being said, I cannot say that I’m thrilled to have to deal. For instance, I wake up most mornings in some pain or discomfort. I also really feel terrible after a stressful or busy week in a way that I didn’t before. I am learning a lot about myself and what my body needs to function the best it can. In some way, I am glad to be in a family in which others understand what it feels like as both my sister and my dad have autoimmune diseases. They give me an instant support group. That being said, we are not the same. While my sister and I share the same diagnosis, we don’t present in the same way. She struggles more in some areas that I don’t and I struggle in ones she doesn’t. That’s the thing. Everyone with an autoimmune disease is different. I’m saying that because I have heard people say, “I know someone with X autoimmune condition and they don’t feel blank or they don’t worry about Y.” We are all different. Heck, I am different each day.
Can’t Let This Fade Away
I know that this blog has been different than what it once was. While I am determined to keep it going, I also know that I cannot dedicate as much time and energy as I once did. Part of this is the new job that I want to be focused on. The state of Wisconsin needs me to be focused as democracy is in real danger here. It is also because of my health that does not allow me to go and go and go like I once did. My parents also need me as my dad is struggling more and more, health wise. While my mom does the day-to-day, they need me to be one of his caregivers. So, for now, I give what I can. As you might notice, this means that I post some things on social media and invite a lot of guest blogs. I wish I could post guest blogs more frequently but it is what it is. I am thankful, though, for everyone who has contributed from social media help to tech help to guest blogs. The blog might not be ideal but I am glad that it lives on.
Keep Riding on the Train
Much like the blog keeps going, so does Duran, including some tour dates, even here in the States. When those tour dates were announced, I had a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, I was excited about the idea that I could see a show. On the other hand, it is not the same as it once was. I know that Rhonda put it out there publicly that we are no longer friends. While I wish that didn’t share that as I like to keep things to myself, I won’t deny it. I’m not going to say much here as I prefer to be respectful and want to continue to feel good about myself and how I am as a friend. But, obviously, touring will be different this time around but it isn’t just about Rhonda. I also have to consider Covid, in a way that others don’t. Not only do I have an autoimmune disease but my dad does, too, and he is medically fragile. So, if I were to go, I would have to do it in a way that I feel safe. Where did I land? I did decide to get tickets to a couple of shows with a good friend of mine. I look forward to hanging with her more than I am looking forward to seeing the show, quite honestly. One of the shows is outside and I feel good about that one. The other one requires vaccinations or negative tests. I will also be wearing a mask. I know that upsets people (although I don’t know why). I need to protect myself and my family. That matters more than a good time.
Hindsight Is Falling on my Face
I have taken a lot of time the last few months to think, to feel, to heal and to grow. As part of that process, I started to think about Duran and where they fit into my life. I became a Duran fan in early childhood. It was at a time when life was full of potential, when friendship seemed endless, when I was just free to be me. It was before I learned that people could judge and be cruel. I am working on going back to that person who openly loved, had fun, sang Duran tunes on the top of her lungs and more. Part of that process is to be as loving towards other fans as possible. I know that drama can pop in the fan community. That said, I don’t expect to be a target and will not comment on other fans.
Anyway, that was a lot. It was good to get it all out. On that note, I would love to hear what Duran Duran means to all of you. Send me a blog about it. (Email at dailyduranie at gmail dot com)