Today marks an anniversary of sorts for fans who have embarked on this amazing journey with Clay Aiken. On September 30, 2008 I wrote and posted a blog titled The Journey to Clay Aiken (I'm not going to repost it, so feel free to click on the link if you're interested).
I started thinking about what my life would have been like had I not chosen to be understanding and sympathetic, but had I chosen the path of anger and resentment.
The first thing I would have lost would have been all of the amazing memories that I had prior to 2008. All of the fantastic times I had, all those wonderful memories, would have been overrun and tainted by anger - how sad.
Second, I would have missed out on creating new memories.......
I would not have laughed at scooters and whistles.
I would not have cried while listening to a wonderful story of a teacher who cared about a lonely little boy, who made a huge impact.
I would not have wondered "what the hell was that!" when I heard Clay's own version of Unchained Melody for the first time - a moment that left me breathless and wanting more.
I would not have had a wonderful girl's weekend in New York City, seeing Spamalot five times in four days - savoring those final days.
I would not know that it's about damn time! or to Bring it On!!!
I would not know that some kids are just.........
I would not have witnessed Clay & Ruben (or is it Ruben & Clay) in all their timeless glory.
I would not have had a Meet & Greet, chatting about the weather.
I would not have visited Raleigh, been inspired by the National Inclusion Project's Champions of Change Gala or tried NC BBQ (and all the trimmings).
I would not have experienced animation, twitterpation and anticipation.
I would have missed out on Clay dancing.
I would have missed out on friends, fun, laughter, tears, anger, excitement and hours of speculation.
But most importantly, I would have missed out being smitten all over again at every photo, every TV appearance, every tour, every blog, every interview. I would have missed out on learning about new causes and continuing my education on making a difference in this ever changing world. I would have missed out on Clay just being Clay, missed out on realizing that he hasn't changed, he's the same caring, talented, funny, intelligent man he was in 2003.
So, for that, I need to say
Clay, thank you - and to quote a book that you brought to my consciousness - "For you, a thousand times over"