When I was 12, I was madly in love with the Backstreet Boys. Well, as madly in love as a pre-teen can get with 5 men she's never met. I spent most of my free time listening to their music, writing fan fiction (or thinly veiled fan fiction that served as some of my first novel length works), and a small part of me thought that I might someday marry Nick Carter. Or, at the very least, his younger brother, Aaron, also a singer and, erm, a lot closer to my age.
But this was 2001, when my only access to the internet was via dial up on the clunky family computer. This was before I knew about online forums or Ticketmaster alerts, so seeing them in concert, much less meeting or marrying them, was pretty much out of the question.
In 2001, after the release of their third album, the band took a hiatus. Most people who weren't fans -- and even a lot who were -- assumed the break was permanent and went about their lives unaffected. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I just knew they would make a comeback.
And they did. In 2005, the year before I graduated from high school, the Backstreet Boys released another album. They weren't quite back at the level of fame that they had been when I was in junior high, but it was proof that my gut instinct was right. They released another album in 2007, and another in 2009. And in 2010, just before I turned 22, I finally got to live out my childhood dream of seeing them in concert. I've seen them again since, in 2001 in the famous NKOTBSB tour they did with New Kids on the Block.
I'm sure seeing the Backstreet Boys live would have been different at 12 than it was at 22. But even though it took a decade, I eventually got what I wanted so badly all those years ago, and it was worth the wait.
Aren't a lot of things in life like that? I'm thinking particularly about writing, since the publishing world is notoriously slow. You spend months or years writing and polishing a manuscript. You wait for feedback from beta readers and critiquers. You wait for responses from agents, responses from publishers and, when you finally get a book deal, you spend more months and years waiting for the book to actually appear on shelves. And yet I still get antsy because I've been trying to get published for 3 years and I'm still not there.
Then I remember that it took me 10 years to reach one goal, and somehow the wait doesn't seem so bad. And it makes me think that I might actually get there -- even if I have to wait longer than I initially planned.
By the way, I was 6th row and totally made hand babies with Brian. No big deal.