Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Learning lessons and moving forward

It's been a month since I've posted here. I'm at a very different place today--emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. I never really thought taking a vacation from all of the Manilow drama would make such a difference in my life, but it has. I've avoided the Manilow Network, the Barrynet, and the other places on the internet where fans spend hours upon hours bashing each other and bickering about things that aren't really important.

While I was gone, Barry visited the UK, appeared on numerous shows as part of his media blitz for his 80's album, released a Christmas single that has climbed to number 6 on the charts, had a Holiday Bash with the fan club and is closing out the year with two marvelous shows. Not to mention numerous fan-related dramas that I happily missed. And believe it or not, life continued as it always does.

I learned a few lessons during this time away. The most important one was that when you strip away all the drama and don't get involved in any of the bickering and mud slinging, you're left with only two things that matter: the music and the friends you've made because of the music. Everything else is temporary and will eventually pass away. When Barry is gone (hopefully because he finally decides to have a life apart from this crazy world he's in right now) his music will be there forever. He's left all of us with a legacy that will unlock emotions and stir our memories and give us joy for the rest of our lives. And even longer if we pass it on to our children [I've done my part there :>)] and our grandchildren. He's given all of us "the time of our lives" and we really do owe it all to him because its been the gift of his music that has done it for us.

Everything else drowns out the music: the jealousy, the envy, the hatred, the bickering, the gossip, the negative fan behavior. It drowns it all out and after awhile you forget why you were drawn to him in the first place. You forget that your very first Barry friend was a 27 year old fan that introduced you to an entire catalog of music you didn't even know was there and has since become like an adopted daughter. You forget that you spent 2 years waiting to meet a friend from Australia, thinking it might never happen, but it did and you made some wonderful memories together. You forget that you traveled to Canada to spend a week with a friend that you bonded with over Barry's music, a scrapbook, starting a fan club and so much more. You forget that you met a fellow blogger through the music and even when your life felt full, she brought so much more into it that you can't even begin to explain. You forget the generosity of a couple that has given and given and touched your heart in ways that you can't even begin to express. You forget about meeting someone from the UK and listening to her tell you about her most agonizing year, and how Barry's music helped her through it all and knowing at that moment that she really got "it" and hoping you could become friends. You forget the friends who you have laughed with, and cried with, and talked hours and hours about that very music that brought you together.

And most importantly, you forget why you were instantly drawn to someone because you felt a common bond and you couldn't explain it, but it was there. You forget you have been to hell and back with her and still standing in spite of it all and that bond, no matter how much has happened, can never be broken or severed because of the music--when we "listened" and let it speak to our hearts we took hold of a dream that some day we will see fulfilled because we refuse to let go or give up or stop believing. And one day, that mountain will move.

I don't want to forget any longer, and I don't want to let anything drown out the music. It's the music that has moved me, healed me, brought me joy, opened the floodgates of tears, and brought me some of the greatest memories and life experiences I could have ever imagined. It's the music that has enriched my life and given me friends that I turn to when I'm hurting, or lost, or even just need somewhere to vent life's frustrations.

Of course I still have opinions and I still find some fan behavior reprehensible, but it's not why I'm here. I'm here because of the music...and I always will be.

To 2009 and moving forward...
Texas Fan

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just a Word

For those of you who are interested, I've set up another blog where I'll be posting some thoughts unrelated to the Manilow world:

My Mortal Musings

Back to my vacation,
Texas Fan

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