I was getting ready to settle in to blog when I discovered the site was blank. Like…super blank. The words “Nothing to see here, move along” were pretty damn appropriate.
In that moment, two things ran through my head: why did I ever decide to willingly create a site and do this again; and I could just quit now, and no one would ever know.
Sure, there are about two of you out there that read. Thank you for your time, I appreciate that. I also know that out of the two of you, neither would notice if I never wrote again. It isn’t YOU, and it isn’t really me either. It’s that your lives come first. Everyone is busy. No one needs this blog to survive. I also appreciate those feelings. No pressure, right? If I write, I write. If I choose to keep my words to myself, no one is going to come knocking. Fair enough. The thing is, in those first few moments—and really it was more like days—I had to talk myself into fixing it all again.
I am really not a webmaster. I watch a lot of YouTube, though. When this stuff happens and the site breaks, I have to will myself to sit down and figure out what happened. I hate it. HATE IT. Most of the time, I want to throw my laptop out the window. I was born without patience, you see, and I rarely have the hours set aside to learn what happened, and then turn around and learn how to fix it (it is never, ever, the same thing twice.) Again I wondered (aloud, to no one but my dog Gizmo, who was sleeping beside my desk and didn’t even bother raising his head to listen), why did I do this again?!?
I will save all of you the agony of what I had to do this time, but once again I sing the praises of the tech department at Namecheap. Once I knew I was in over my head, I called in the big guns, and they calmly walked me through it, even when I asked dumb questions. Not that it saved MY life, but it did save my laptop from certain destruction. <insert smile here>
So, this is the “new and improved” attempt to keep blogging. I had to go back to basics, but here it is. Not necessarily my favorite, but it’s not my worst website either. I’ll take it. (for now)
In many ways, this little exercise was a test. I could have just said “fuck it” and walked away. This isn’t like Daily Duranie, where maybe people would have noticed, at least at one time, anyway. This is just me. My own words. Meandering. Did I want Plastic-Paradise that much?
All along I’ve said that I decided to do this for me. It has to be that way, otherwise I don’t think I’d keep at it. Even when writing Daily Duranie, as much as I wrote seeking approval and validation for everyone else at times, I also wrote for me. I think it was in the moments when I only wrote for myself, not caring if anyone ever read, that I felt the most validated and free. It is interesting how things work that way.
Recently, I’ve been struggling in band rehearsal. We’re learning music for a new concert, and my conductor knows me well-enough now to call me out when I’m not doing something the way he wants. I hate that because I want to be one of those players who is always right. I used to be that way, and I am working hard to step it up. I had a conversation yesterday with my section leader and he said that my biggest problem is confidence (as in a lack thereof). He went on to say that he doesn’t worry about how he sounds or about how other people think of his playing, because he’s confident. He enjoys the feeling of playing for himself, or as he put it “It’s all for fun. The will and the desire for self-expression”. Those words hit home.
I think writing is similar. It was only when I started really caring about what people thought that I struggled. Writers block emerged, and the words didn’t come easily, if at all. I’m determined not to let that take the joy of writing away. So, I sat down yesterday, worked through the issue as much as I could, sought help, and got the site to work. Then today I spent a couple of hours rebuilding using a different theme. It isn’t perfect, but it does the job. I want the site to be more about the words contained within, and less about the band or bells and whistles. If you want to know me, you’ll read. If you want to hear the latest about Duran Duran and couldn’t give two figs about the writer, then you’ll move on. I won’t know either way, and I don’t honestly care. I’ll write until it no longer serves me.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot more time reading and finding people on Instagram who are more like me. There’s this one lady I follow intently – she goes by TheRealSlimSherri – she’s incredibly funny. She’s a fellow GenXer (Generation X, born from 1965-1980), and a lot of her content is about that, but some of it is about just embracing yourself as a person, and being grateful for whomever and whatever you are. Sherri is far cooler and edgier than I could ever wish for, but the words that come out of her mouth are a lot like the stuff that rolls around in my head. She started out on TikTok, but I didn’t find her until her posts started going viral on Instagram, and then on Facebook. As I am rather fond of saying, “They love you until they hate you.”
Sure enough, it wasn’t long beforesome of her biggest “fans” started finding fault with some of the things she said. Sherri has some pretty strong opinions about why Gen Xers handle things the way they do, and like anything else – people disagreed, and some vehemently. She found herself spending a lot of time defending herself and reading those damn comments. Best thing I ever did was stop reading our comments, particularly when things were rough. Most people mean well, but some just can’t seem to get past the word “mean” and stay there. I couldn’t help but see some parallel to things I did while writing Daily Duranie. It was a much smaller scale (we never went viral, thank goodness), but I could see the same roller coaster happening. You gain traction, your audience starts to really grow, and then you say something that pisses people off, and look out. I’m sticking with her though, because I like a lot of what she has to say, and she has an attitude I *wish* I exuded more of!
If you’ve stuck with me this long, chances are you’re wondering when I’m going to mention Duran Duran. As in…Duran Duran concert dates! Well, Dear Readers, here we are, days from the beginning of yet another touring cycle. Presales begin on Monday. Am I ready? Hell, no! I still don’t know where I’ll end up going to see them, although I’m greedily looking at Red Rocks, since I completely missed seeing them there last time. I believe that is the last US “bucket list” venue I have on my list, at least for seeing Duran Duran. After roadtrips all over, and seeing them in the second row at the Hollywood Bowl, I really don’t know what more I could ask for. I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to see this band I’ve dearly loved so many times.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Duran Duran again. I do wonder though if it is them that I want to see so badly, or if it is friends, or if it is something else. For decades now, the band has provided a very needed distraction from real life. I can hardly believe that I’ve been actively going to concerts to see them, as an adult, for over twenty years at this point. (I missed most of the 90s. College, marriage, two kids…it was a busy decade.) Almost all of my concert experience has been from the reunion forward.
I still desire that occasional break from reality, but it is different now. My kids are grown, for the most part. The stress is so different now than it was when I had three at home. I also am in a period of my life where I’m beginning to see that I’d better start doing the things that really suit my own needs. Rather than worrying about who is going to be upset or hurt by a decision I make, I need to start asking myself what it is that I really want. If I keep going like this, I’ll only look back with regret. I feel like I’m staring up at this monster hurdle I need to clear. Once I’m over it, I’ll be fine, but it’s the talking myself into trying that is the rough part.
So where does that leave me for Monday? No idea. I’ll figure it out though.
Hey there, thanks for joining the conversation. I’m happy to read your respectful comments and opinions, so type away! 🙂 -R