On fangirling, part III: “The first of many maybe’s to come”


I wrote about Mumford & Sons a lot on my old blog.  Two of these posts were about my experience as a self-identified (although I’m sure many people can back me up on that claim) Mumford & Sons fangirl, simply titled “On fangirling.”  You can see part I here and part II here, if you wish.  Basically, Mumford & Sons mean buckets and buckets to me and their fans are amazing.  I won’t go further than that; you’ll have to read the posts.

Consider this the third installment of my “On fangirling” series, even though I won’t be talking about Mumford that much.

Last week, the Sons teased fans by revealing that they’d announce plans for their 2013 round of Gentlemen of the Road stopover festivals today, February 5.  I learned this morning that they would not be making a return trip to Dixon, and I learned this afternoon, when the stopover locations and dates were revealed, that the closest festival to me is about six and a half hours from my hometown in Troy, Ohio, on Labor Day weekend.  It’s a two-day affair this year, with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros headlining on Friday and the Mumfords headlining on Saturday.  AND Old Crow Medicine Show is going to be there.  It’s like the 2011 Railroad Revival Tour is being… well, revived.

But I found that I wasn’t as excited about this news as I was last year, even though I’ve (kinda) been making plans with a Mumsister I met in Dixon to make the drive to Troy.  Not because they’re not coming closer, but because a bittersweet realization smacked me over the head really hard as I began making those plans:

This is the first time in a while that I’ve been uncertain about my near-term future.

I’ve been in school since 1996, when I was five.  Every year of my life since then has followed a predictable cycle:  school starting in late August, a few months of break (and of earning money, when I started high school) in the summer, and then back to school til the next summer.  Safe, comfortable, easy, orderly.  My years were more or less planned out for me.

That’s all getting flipped on its head this summer, though.  I’m graduating in May, and for the first time ever, I won’t have a summer vacation.  I won’t be searching for a job that’s just temporary or that will save me just enough money to start paying off my tuition bill when school starts.  Heck, I won’t even be returning to school in August.  I have no idea at all where I’m going to be this August, or even this May, after I graduate.

I’ll soon start searching for a grown-up job that I have to work all year ’round, that pays enough money to help me cover rent and car insurance and grown-up things.  And that job could be anywhere; I’m not tied to Rockford anymore.  I go where the money is, I guess.  I probably won’t have time or money for things like big concerts or vacations when I’m finding my sea legs in this new world.

And that kinda terrifies me.

I knew this whole “growing up” thing would happen eventually.  I just didn’t think it would hit me this hard and that it would hit me during a moment that’s supposed to be happy:  planning to see my favorite band for a second time.  This decision of whether or not to go has given me my first taste of worrying, REALLY worrying, about money and wondering whether it’s a good idea to buy a concert ticket.  It’s the first time I’ve realized how relatively easy I’ve had it just because I’m a student, largely dependent on my parents even though I’ve been footing most of my own tuition bill for four years.  The first time I’m realizing that real life isn’t divided “into school is in session” and “time to relax for a few months.”

Maybe I’m getting too emotional or just assuming the worst for my future.  I realize that things might stabilize a few years down the line and that I could have time for fun and leisure.

Heck, I’m not even sure if I know what I’m trying to say with this blog post.  I’m just trying to make sense of what I’ve been feeling today.  Hopefully it made sense to you.

Am I excited by the possibility of going to see my favorite band in concert again?  Heck yes I am.  As excited as I was last year?  Nope.  I don’t think there’s anything I can do to get myself more excited.  Because there are too many variables that could prevent me from going as the months between now and then tick away.  Because the distance between me and Troy, Ohio is pretty meaningless right now, considering it could expand or shrink depending on where I land after graduation.  Because the next seven months aren’t planned out for me in any sort of way.  I wish I could scream “I’M GOING TO SEE MUMFORD & SONS THIS SUMMER!!” to the high heavens right now, but I just can’t.

So I’ll just say this, in writing:  I MIGHT be going to see Mumford & Sons this summer.  It’s the first of many maybe’s to come, I’m sure.  That is, until my life finds some sense of stability again.

*UPDATE, 2/9/13:  I bought my ticket to the Troy stopover yesterday.  Crossing my fingers like mad that everything works out for me to go!



5 thoughts on “On fangirling, part III: “The first of many maybe’s to come”

  1. Erin, it’s been a long time since I crossed that threshold from student to adult. Actually, it was before you were even born! Isn’t that depressing? I digress! Anyway, while non-student adulthood certainly has its scary moments and definitely has increased responsibilities, it also has some great perks; one being you no long have to pay tuition! 🙂 So, the money you make can be spent in whatever way you choose (kind of…rent, food, etc. suck a lot of it up). Regardless, it feels good to no longer be handing over thousands of dollars each year. Also, as you mentioned, nothing is tying you to one place (except of course relationships – which are, btw, an extremely important tie). The world is your playground!

    Okay, enough of my motherly pep-talk! You will excel in life (even though it is scary sometimes)!

    ***I wish you were (possibly) coming to Oklahoma though instead of Ohio!

  2. And student loans. I’ll be in quite a bit of debt when I graduate 😛 But thank you for the encouragement. It’s just all happening so fast, I guess. Sorry about the difference in plans… assuming I get work in Dubuque or in northern Illinois, Ohio is closer. And Kaitlyn and I are probably going to carpool. And maybe meet Nadia and another Mumsister down there. It should be a grand old time 🙂

  3. It’s really weird not being in school after going for 16 years (I think that’s how long I went?) anyways, it’s good that you’re aware of the change ahead of time. I didn’t think that it’d be that different. But I digress, I know you’ll make the right decision, and sometimes you do need to take a mental health vacation. Here’s to you!

    p.s. I was born in Rockford (Illinois I am assuming)

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