The following is a guest post from one Lauren Buchanan, who I was lucky enough to meet through Tumblr. It’s been super fun to follow along on her journey, and I hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did!
I’d like to start this off with lots for gratitude and honor for Laura. If you are just now reading her blog and are a band wife or girlfriend, I suggest you start from the beginning. She is brilliant and reading her posts have guided and inspired me through my life as a band girlfriend, also her recipes are wonderful.
When Laura first asked me to be a guest on this blog I found myself at a loss for words, for I was and still am very honored to be a guest on this blog. Laura’s timing for all of this is perfect, for my boyfriend, Jonny Andrew of State Faults (Tiny Engines Records) left for his first full US tour on January 14.
My journey as a band girlfriend started in October of 2010 when a handsome man asked for my number after bonding over the band, American Football. Every moment since then, we have been inseparable. Going into this relationship I thought I knew what to expect – I had dated someone who had been on tour before. At the time I thought I knew it all and what to expect from a musician, but Jonny began to prove me wrong the second we started talking about our hopes, dreams, and goals.
I’ve never met someone who works as hard, inspires me and still comes home, bad day or not, still the same most wonderful man. As his band grew, from Brother Bear to State Faults the reality of tour became very clear to the both of us. When they signed with Tiny Engines Recordsin November 2011, I definitely became the proudest lady in the world. I knew that with this signing his career as a musician was serious and that, for now, tour would be something we would both adjust to.
This tour will be the first time for us being away from each other for such an extended period of time. Preparing for tour is a full time commitment that requires many full days and late nights. The beginning of this preparation started a little before November of 2011.
After the announcement of them signing, tour preparation turned into a full-blown job. A big part of preparing for tour is getting the actual tour booked. Chip Kelley, their bass player, deserves the most credit for this aspect of tour. I know it is a lot of emails, phone calls, and more emails.
Merch is the one major part of tour that constantly helps them through – as long as it is sold. Getting merch together begins with design. Jared Wallace, their drummer, designed the new batch of merch that is with them on tour now. Design is only a step when it comes to the process. The boys also choose to screen print them on their own and keep the DIY dream alive. Johnny and Jared design the stickers and buttons. When they first brought the van home, there was work that needed to be done on it, but luckily, friends and family helped them to get it on the road.
As a girlfriend, couldn’t be more proud and supportive of his dreams, but being away from him is something that will require more effort and strength within myself. I’ve prepared myself many goals within this time away from Jonny. I feel like setting goals for yourself and meeting and/or exceeding them is one of the best ways to not feel lonely and to keep yourself sane.
I am still in college working towards being a radiologist and this semester I am set up to intern at a local hospital to perfect my patient interaction skills and do lots of scut work. This is going to consume a lot of time and will not only help me with my career, but also keep my mind from wandering to a lonely place. Being around people is a great way to keep yourself from feeling lonely. What is even better is being around people that love and care for you. I have a few very wonderful ladies that have their loved men in bands and speaking with them is always helpful. Not only to these ladies love and care for me, but they know what I am going through and can share their advise and laughs. I don’t always get to see these ladies, but when I can’t I know always turn to my mom and Jonny’s family.
Physical activity has always played a major role in my life. I have always been athletic, so whenever I can, I am out trying some new workout routine. One of my favorite ways to keep in shape and sane while my man is gone is to run; I can’t preach it enough. Running, and most heavy cardiovascular exercises, release hormones from the pituitary gland that can block pain and enable euphoric feelings. In laymen’s terms, running can leave you in a great mood and feeling good about yourself. For me running brings quietness and serenity to my mind. If my body is running, then means my mind is not running with thoughts. It can be a major relief, especially if I am stressed out and/or worrying.
Staying sane while your loved one is away can be a challenge, especially when you are use to living together. For me, the nights are the hardest, but I’ve strategized a method that makes is a whole lot easier. I start out with a warm bath or shower proceeded by a cup of tea. For those of you who are sensitive to caffeine I suggest sticking to something herbal like chamomile, peppermint, or hibiscus. There is something about getting warm and comfortable that can be soothing to most people, including myself. This typically sets me up to fall asleep. I also have a little help from our puppy, Belle. Having that little ball of fur and warmth curled up against me makes the nights less cold and lonely.
Regardless of what I do to keep myself busy while Jonny is away, nothing is more comforting than knowing of our love and faith in each other. Before Jonny left on tour we made a little pact and a major part of it is communication. Thanks to technology we can talk, text, tweet, and email no matter how far away we are from each other. Right now our lives in our careers are demanding of our time, but some how waking up to a text or getting a phone call before bed makes life seemingly slow down just a little bit. I am grateful for the communication that we do have while he is gone, because I know how busy tour can be and nothing is better than hearing his voice while he is away.
Our journey together is just starting and I know there will be more tours, but I know there is more to our journey than just tours; we are young. It is hard not to miss your man while he is away, but keeping busy and keeping connected with him through our own little wires and telephones has made it a little easier to fly solo for a little bit. No matter how far the distance I know he is always coming back to our home and me.