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[img=042212_oldbillieandmike.jpg]Life as a kid in small town America can be restricting. It's not a bad life by any means, but often it's a limited one. When you're a kid in a small town a trip to the next biggest city is a big deal, a trip to another state is a huge deal and a trip out of country is almost unheard of. Most small town kids spend their teen years dreaming of "getting out" but in the end a lot of them never do.

In the 80s Mike, Billie and Tre were three of those small town kids dreaming of a bigger life. Rodeo was exactly the kind of town that is difficult to leave and they may not have if it weren't for one thing, music. Music was their ticket out. It took them out of Rodeo, to places small town kids dream of, but rarely see. And along the way they met countless people, some of whom ended up becoming a big part of their lives, and careers. Relationships they may have never had if they had stayed in Rodeo.

And just like their music opened the world to Green Day, Green Day has opened the world to me. I was one of those kids living in a small town longing to leave. I had big plans for myself and although I did eventually leave my small town, there were a few bumps in the road that made a lot of plans seem impossible. So instead of chasing after what I wanted, I settled into a life similar to the one I had growing up; dreaming about the life I wanted, but never doing anything to get it. And then Green Day came into my life.

I had been a Green Day fan since the late 90s but it was only in the last couple years that I upgraded my status to super fan and began to closely follow them. One day I was doing my daily GDA check and there it was an [url=]announcement[/url] that Billie Joe would be playing the role of St. Jimmy for a limited engagement. My heart started racing, adrenaline began to flow and I began making plans. A month or so later I hopped aboard a plane and headed to New York City. NYC had long been on the list of places I wanted to visit and even though at one point I lived only five hours away I had never made it. I'd never had a reason to go, but now I had my reason. That four day trip to NYC brought back all the dreams I'd once had, but this time they seemed completely attainable. I realized there was no good reason I shouldn't see the world why not see it with Green Day. In July I'm headed to San Francisco for American Idiot and if all goes to plan, in August I'm going to Japan for the Summer Sonic festival. And when the next tour comes the possibilities are endless.

I'm certainly not the first person to drop everything and fly off in pursuit of Green Day. There are many fans that have quite literally followed Green Day around the world and their stories and experiences have been life changing. And even if you haven't been able to travel the world chances are you have at least one friend near or far who came into your life because of Green Day. That one commonality, with the help of the internet has helped us all connect with each other and as a result amazing friendships have formed.

I had all but given up on my dreams, and then came Green Day and almost instantly my life changed. There have been new opportunities, new adventures and new friends I would have never had without Green Day. They opened up my world and made me realize that if life stomps on my dreams, I just have to make new ones. Just when you think life can't be any more predictable Green Day comes a long and turns your life upside down.

By: Lori Champion
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