“I’ll never be that girl”. “Things like that don’t happen to people like me”. This is how I felt when I would see girls on TV reach and touch a member of the bands hand or yell “I love you” and get a response. I grew up in the late 90’s, that’s right the boy band era. I was an *Nsync fanatic. Every *Nsync girl knows you have 1 member who is “your guy”, I was a Justin girl. We all know what became of him. I continued to follow JT as a loyal fan and on March 6th, 2019, I was that girl!
You see I had been to many *Nsync and solo JT shows. My sweet mother was a young widow and raised my brother and I on her own. She always did what she could to give us the best life possible. This included indulging my boy band obsession. I now know what it must have meant for her to spend that kind money on tickets and memorabilia. She knew it brought me happiness, so she made it work. I don’t remember if I ever complained about my seats, I sure hope I didn’t. They were never great but again, she did what she could with what she had.
3.5 year ago, I had my first child, a beautiful girl we named Jasmine. 11 days before her 2nd birthday I gave birth to two sweet boys, Luke and Dominic. I love my kids but 3 kids in 2 years is very challenging. Their dad is disabled and its often just the 4 of us trying to make it through another day. I don’t do a lot for myself because I feel like there is no time for anything outside of my job and my kids. I often get lectured about self-care. I would just smile and say:” I know, I’ll work on it”, I never did.
My mom came over one day and handed me a purse. She said it was an early Christmas present. Inside were a pair of tickets to see Justin in November 2019, I cried. The show was postponed due to him having a vocal cord injury. I was ok with that because to be honest, I was hesitant about going. I never leave my kids at night, I knew there would be lots of crying. Up until the afternoon of the show I considered not going. Boy am I happy I did! When we walked in to be seated the usher looked at our tickets and asked up to wait up front. We weren’t quite sure what was going on. Well it turns out we were being allowed to sit in that front row because there was an issue with our seats. Seriously, things like this don’t happen to me! We were technically behind the stage but so painfully close it didn’t matter. If you have been so lucky to attend his show you know that Justin performs in a way that no seat is a bad seat. I waited and picked my moment, when I though he was in ear shot and the crowd was silent enough my inner 12-year-old yelled “I LOVE YOU!” Then it happened, Justin freakin Timberlake looked at ME and made the shape of a heart and pointed at ME!!! Full disclosure… I peed my pants a little…
People who know my situation often ask me how I’m doing. I say I’m hanging in there or I’m ok. My truth, I’m drowning. I am not ok but rather very overwhelmed most days. I feel like a failure to my kids and often feel like any day I could break. My mom could see this and knew I needed a night out that I would enjoy. Just like when I was a child, she is making sure my happiness comes first. The show took me through so many good memories that are tied to songs he performed. Being there with my childhood friend brought me the happiness I felt as a teenager. I drank a beer and danced the night away, for the first time in years I felt relaxed. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my kids on my mind the entire night. Still, I felt a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Though I was exhausted the next day, the happiness I felt carried over. I was more patient with my kids and overall, happier.
This opened my eyes to what everyone was trying to tell me. I need to take care of myself to be the mom I aspire to be for my kids. I need to find joy in things that make me happy outside of them. I need to make selfcare a priority. To Justin it was just another show and I was just another screaming fan in the crowd. To me, this night changed my life. It acted as therapy and I made a promise to myself, I will get out without the kids and have some time to unwind as often as I can. A couple weeks later I went and saw my doctor and was prescribed antidepressant medication. I am finally taking my life back. Sometimes the most unexpected thing can make you see what was right in front of you. The moral of the story, if you are like me and struggling, please make time for you. YOU are import and you matter. Thank you to my mom for being the amazing loving woman that you are. Thank you, JT, for continuing to entertain and inspire me after all these years. You may think you know what mark you’re leaving on this world, but you have no idea. Maybe, just maybe one day I’ll be THAT fan and I’ll get to thank you personally. Hey, a girl can dream!