I can barely remember five years ago. It truly seems like a lifetime ago.
I only had three children. Only one was in school. That was two houses ago. After living in the US for a year, we had only been back in Canada for six months.
But five years ago my life changed, and I know I’m not the only one.
Yes, it sounds dumb to say that a concert – even a reunion after fourteen years – could change someone’s life, but there is no other way to put it.
Admittedly, I wasn’t at the first show. I already had tickets to the show on the 21st, and as it was, I was rushing back from an out-of-province wedding to be sure I could be there. I was newly pregnant, and going to see the show with a friend who was about mid-way through her first pregnancy, and my “New Kids partner-in-crime”, Laura, who was very VERY pregnant (and in fact, gave birth two days later!) That was just slightly different than my concert experiences as a teenager!
My husband had bought me a copy of “The Block” and I already knew just about every word. Ever since the first time I’d heard those intro notes of “Click, Click, Click” on NKOTB.com back in the spring, I’d had a feeling I hadn’t had in fourteen years. With three kids, another on the way, and a husband of eleven years, I felt young and innocent again.
We went to that show, and we screamed, and we sang along, and more than likely, at least once, we cried (I know Donnie certainly did LOL!) And when it was all over, I know I wasn’t alone in wondering if that was the only time it was going to happen. When the tour ended, was that it?
And then another tour happened. And a cruise. Not that I got to go to either of those, but still… it meant that it was still going on.
The next spring, Laura convinced me that I just HAD to try Twitter, because the guys were on there, and you could *gasp* TALK TO THEM. And Twitter changed my life again, not just because of NKOTB. I met people who offered advice about writing, and I saw what a blog could actually be. I started talking to people that I had only watched on tv as a teenager (I’m looking at YOU, Erica Ehm…)
But most importantly, I met friends. Friends from all over, that I could never possibly have come into contact with any other way. Friends who have encouraged me, who have listened to me, who have just been a whole lot of FUN. I’ve met people who became my beta readers, and helped me to finish writing my books. I learned about publishing, and how to market myself (even if I’m still not very good at it, but I’m learning!) I know some people think I’m crazy when I say I’ve met some of my best friends through Twitter, but it’s true. I may never have had the guts to publish “Idol Hands” if not for some of the people I met on Twitter. I might never have had the guts to call myself “an author.”
And with every new NKOTB tour, or album, I’ve met more people. We talk, and share thoughts that people in our every day lives don’t necessarily understand. We laugh together, and sometimes we cry together. We’ve celebrated new jobs, weddings, and births, and we’ve mourned losses. We don’t always agree, and sometimes we roll our eyes at each other. We’re not always nice to each other. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. The experiences I’ve had in the past five years have given me so much joy! There is so much sadness and hate in the world, why not hold on with both hands to something that makes you happy?
Five years ago, I had no idea that I would someday be standing backstage at a show in Atlanta, Georgia, talking to Danny Wood about kids’ shows.
Five years ago, I had no idea that I would have stood beside my former “future husband”, Jordan Knight, backstage at the CBC for a photo op.
Five years ago, I had no idea how exciting it could be to be “HUMP”ed or “TWUG”ged by Donnie Wahlberg.
Five years ago, I had no idea that I would be plotting how to bring Joe McIntyre’s one-man show to Toronto (and believe me, I’m still plotting! I have a theatre degree, after all: I might as well use it!)
Five years ago, I had no idea how hearing Jonathan Knight sing solo in front of an arena full of people would make me believe that I could accomplish anything if I really set my mind to it.
Five years ago, I had no idea that the friendships that would form would change my life forever. In my life five years ago, there was no Marijka, no Jessica, no Sissy, no Abby, no Amy, no Abbie, no Erica, no Steph. (There are so many others I could add to this, but I can only go on for so long LOL.)
And so I have to thank you, Donnie, Danny, Joe, Jonathan, and Jordan. You didn’t have to do this. I’m sure that, like us, your lives were pretty good before the reunion: you had families, and careers, and lots to fulfill you. But for some reason, that maybe you don’t completely understand either, you decided to give it one more shot, and whether you realize it or not, you changed all of our lives.
So happy anniversary, guys, and THANK YOU. I will be forever grateful.