I found the jumbled up words for this post floating around my head over the past few days, as I find myself this week being tour widowed. Yes, that is a real thing in band world (sort of).
AJ plays drums in a band. Most of the time when I meet new people and explain that my boyfriend is in a band, I get the same reaction. People ask me whether they ever “go on tour” with a bit of a smirk, if they play pubs, or even have any albums. My response varies depending on the person I happen to be speaking to at the time, but it always involves me having to point out that yes he is in a band, yes they tour, yes they play massive shows, sometimes to thousands of people and they even have actual albums that real people can buy. And that is his job.
The response that often follows is one of shock and almost always “oh that’s so cool”. Most of the time, it really is. Thanks to AJ and his lovely bandmates, I’ve had the opportunity to go to shows and festivals for free, hang around in guest areas at festivals (where they have actual toilets and soap and seats), eat yummy catering and watch them play big shows from side stage. Last year, behind the main stage at Reading festival, I even came within 10 feet of actual Orlando Bloom. In real life.
Actually, the biggest bonus for me is being in a relationship with someone who absolutely loves what they do. I don’t imagine there are many people on the planet who grow up loving something, working mega hard at it and then turning it into their job. I can’t speak for AJ and the rest of the band, but I certainly don’t imagine its always been an easy ride and I know its been a lot of work.
But here’s the thing. There are downsides too. In 2015/2016 I was totally spoiled. The band didn’t need to go away for long periods and AJ spent a lot of time at home, hanging out with Archie and I and doing cool things at the weekends. But now there is tour.
This particular tour is almost three weeks. In the grand scheme of things, its not a long time. We’ve been together almost four years now and there have been longer tours, shorter tours and there will always be more tours. But it comes at a time where I was tricked into thinking 9-5 life was the norm and I got comfortable; I let my guard down.
Band girlfriends and wives and probably even just friends know the feeling all too well. But its hard to explain to everyone else. Its like a feeling of missing someone but being pleased that they’re gone.. Because they’re doing something amazing. Its being excited to hear all about it but trying to shake the feeling of missing out and carrying on with ‘normal’ life. On the other side of the coin, I imagine it to be feeling so happy to be out doing what you love, but trying to balance that out with missing whoever is at home waiting for you.
Don’t get me wrong; the wonders of modern technology mean that we still message each other lots(probably too much.. what can I say, we like to chat) but its still not quite the same here in our little flat.
I know that I need to use the next few weeks to study more, to get organised and to keep busy. But right now, I just have a sleepy pug to look after and half an empty bed.