Rise up and take back what you are owed

Wait. 2022 is almost over? Didn’t it only *JUST* begin? Like, is it me or did this year fly by?

I know, there are still a lot of things going on right now, but as per usual, I would like to reflect on my 2022 and the good things it brought my way. Granted, it was once again off to a bit of a rocky start, but around mid-May, things started to look up and got better. Which is …good news? The most important thing is that I managed to keep the depressive episodes at bay for the most part. Some days were shitty, not gonna lie. Especially at the beginning of the year due to some personal reasons I do not wish to elaborate on. Not everything needs to be logged on here!

For the most part, I am also rather satisfied with how 2022 went for myself. I’m out and proud, I had some really awesome experiences along the way, went on a weekend trip with Bestie, the Sharks game (where I ticked something off the Bucket List, aka the selfie with our mascot, SJ Sharkie), gigs (fucking FINALLY!), and of course Top Gun: Maverick. The latter being the one film I didn’t know I needed in my life, y’all. Okay, shit’s gotten a wee bit out of hand (aka decorating my wall with TGM and TG stuff), but do I look like I care? It gave me something to hold on to and to immerse myself in. So there.

I am also extremely grateful for those moments when I felt utterly alive again. Be it in my Happy!Place at the beach, watching TGM five times on the big screen (I just didn’t really sign up for the Tomsession, but that’s another story for another time), seeing my Sharks play live for the first time ever, or being finally reunited with my LORDS AND SAVIORS aka BAND! and the Shenanigans to be had.

After the lads had to cancel their headline show in Hanover this summer, I was bummed out, as this was the only gig of their spring / summer run I had a ticket for. A sad Tweet from Yours Truly, and a lovely answer from the lads “Really sorry friend, we will make it up to you.” Yes, they did that – they called me “friend”. And then somehow, November 11 rolled around and the lads were gracing Berlin with their presence again. I couldn’t stop grinning anymore afterwards, as it had once again been epic.

Since we don’t do things half-assed here, I got a setlist, which is signed by almost everyone, and well, you see the KIWI IS ZE BEST scribbling? That’s from Dav whom I gave a very special gift to after the show. That alone already was worth the wait! I mean, I hadn’t seen them in almost three fucking years because of you-know-what, travel restrictions, no gigs whatsoever.

So being reunited with Ze Favs sure was one of those moments I treasured.

And then …one thing led to another … Shortly after the Berlin gig, I realized that I already missed them, so I was looking at their remaining tour dates, all of which were basically sold out. For some reason, Cologne seemed rather …pleasing. I texted my friend Sarah (she lives in the UK) about the idea to travel to Cologne on a whim. She’s like, “I got a spare ticket!” and that was it. Off to Cologne it was!

Next thing I know is that Dani put us on the frickin’ guestlist for the show, and I was rendered speechless once again. Their kindness is something else for sure. I was standing there, front row – as per usual -, and couldn’t stop smiling. This time, I had upped the ante a wee bit and brought a small Yorkshire flag along for both gigs, given that Duwas is Yorkshire born and bred and Dav and Dani also hail from up there. So of course, they appreciated that one. Duwas even said, “Thank you for making me feel at home!” Awwwww. But there ya go – they love their fans, and to them, you’re not just fans, you’re part of a family.

For some reason, I had also decided to bring my PRIDE flag to Cologne, and when the lads came on stage, I created some kind of Yorkshire Pride. Which of course didn’t go unnoticed as well – and sure enough, after like two songs in, Dav asked for the PRIDE flag. Here you go … handed it up to him via a security guy, and then this happened …

He attached it to his pants and deadass rocked it on stage for the remainder of their set! Everyone around me was smiling, especially those who know about me being LGBTQ+ . It may have only been a small gesture, but it meant the whole fucking WORLD to me! Okay, it was Dav’s Twitch community where I first tested the waters re: coming out, and he’s been super-supportive and encouraging as well, so the flag has gone to a very good home.

Another one of *THOSE* moments which cemented my love for this BAND!, that’s for sure. But it also goes to show what I said earlier – this whole fandom is a HUGE family, everyone’s welcome, regardless who you are (well, unless you’re an asshole of some kind) which is also a statement Dani made during the set. Makes me appreciate the flag thing even more. Dav didn’t have to do that, but he did.

After the gig, we were waiting for them again, and Dav was like, “You gave me a tail! Kiwi, you LEGEND!” Haha, yes, I guess I am … *chuckles*

I was also talking to I think it was Ed about the flag, and he grinned and said, “Oh, that was you? I’d been wondering where that came from!” See?? They’re absolutely open-minded, they love their fans, and well, the other day, Ed even replied to my insta story, saying “Your support is insane!” He’s only met me twice so far … and yet, he already “knows” my fuck face. HA!

All I can say is, I am proud to support this BAND!, as they have given me so much in those ten and a half years since I out of curiosity clicked on the YouTube link to watch their “An Honourable Reign” video. It’s been one heck of a journey. And I am in it for the ride.

I said to some of my friends that BURY TOMORROW definitely is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And I mean that.

And now, dear readers, I shall end this entry. Thank you for reading, and sticking around with me. I appreciate this!

Happy New Year – and here’s hoping 2023 will have more of those moments when I feel alive again.

*******

photos: mine

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