20 Years Flies By
I don't normally post in the forum but today, I need to share my story. Lately, I have been looking back at my life over the past 41 years. I find myself thinking of what I have done and who I strive to become. I have always been my own person, ever since I was a little kid. I walked to the beat of my own drum and didn't care what anyone else thought, I still hold true to that today. Starting with my childhood, grade school sucked, plain and simple. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in 7th grade, too bad they didn't figure that out in 3rd grade when they held me back a year. I spent my summer going into 8th grade learning new methods on how to process my way of thinking. I could hardly learn the way I had been taught, let alone learn something new. I used Pearl Jam as an escape from my day to day life and got lost in the music. Entering high school certainly didn’t change my personality or habits, I was still that crazy girl, but now I was the crazy girl who loved Pearl Jam. I didn't care what others thought of me and was definitely not going to change for anyone else. I expressed myself through my crazy outfits and tough attitude. I was a weirdo in my peers' eyes, I didn’t have any boyfriends or fit into any of the cliques. By the end of junior year, ended up finding a group of friends that took me in and didn’t seem to mind my outspokenness or different approach to life. To no surprise, I was voted “Most Outspoken” in our class and finally graduated. We all went our separate ways and I was alone again. That was when my life changed, I met Ted and fell in love. I found myself not needing to escape through my music all the time and was happy in life. Ted loved me for who I was, weirdness and all. We ended up getting married, everyone thought we were crazy, people just don’t get married at 21. We moved out of our parents’ houses and got jobs, I think we had about $350.00 to our names. Within two years, we had started a family of our own. Two boys who are the light of my life, Teddy now 17 and Harmon 15. While we were raising the boys, I lost touch with music and stopped listening to Pearl Jam. I know, horrible idea! All of our time and money went into raising our young men properly and I didn’t really have a love for music that I once did. As the years went on, friends came and went but our friendship grew to a different level. Ted and I were not only husband and wife, we were best friends.
It wasn’t until 2015 that I reconnected with my love of Pearl Jam, thank you Sirius Radio. I was going through a really rough time at work and needed a release. To top it off, I found out that my high school friends whom I had kept in touch with and hung out with still were really not my friends. After 20 years, I found out that all this time, they were actually making fun of me for being different. They would talk about me behind my back and were embarrassed by me. I was humiliated and my heart was broken. I reached for the music of Pearl Jam to heal me. What I hadn’t expected was the love and power of this group. In opening my world back up to Pearl Jam I was able to lose myself in the music and turn my negativity into positive. Ted asked me, “Why do you listen to them all the time? Why is it that you are in all these PJ groups?” The only explanation I had was,”Listening to these guys lets me think of how strong a person I am and will be no matter what changes. I cannot change and I won’t change who I am for anyone.” With that explanation, Ted agreed to go to our first PJ show in Quebec City on May 5, 2016. We went together but left there as different people. Two people who were very much still themselves but had a passion for something bigger. We were lucky enough to be able to experience the two Fenway shows that summer as well. It is unexplainable to have the person you love the most share the same passion you have felt for over 25 years. Over these last two years, Ted and I have bonded in a way that not many people can understand. Our love has always been strong but this connection has brought us even closer. We are weird together and have plenty of Jamily out there who understand who we are. So, now I am not “the weird girl who loves Pearl Jam”, we are “the weird couple that loves Pearl Jam”.
Today, 5.30.18 is our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought it fitting to celebrate with a summer of Pearl Jam bliss. We start with a trip to Italy for the two stadium shows (our first time to Europe), the two Wrigley shows which we don’t even have tickets for yet… Don’t worry, we have our hotel booked though! Followed by the two Fenway shows to wrap up it all up. We wanted to be surrounded by our Jamily to help us celebrate the love we have for each other. We are looking forward to reconnecting with people we have met as well as all the others we have become friends with online, all around the world. The love that Ted and I have for each other is stronger now than 20 years ago. I like to think Pearl Jam had a part in that, and would like to thank them for letting us all be ourselves. Pearl Jam is truly an amazing group who have provided so many people with so much comfort over the years. Thank you for that! See you at the upcoming shows!! Cheers to another 20 years!