Personal Fandoms & Life
by P.E. Mari 12:40 am 2 comments
I'm going to try to write this post without beating myself up too much.
Anyway, you all know of my undying love of Supernatural. I've watched this show for literally a third of my life (OH SNAP) and that's because of the great storytelling, the wonderful self-awareness, and my ... thing with Dean Winchester.
It's weird to say I relate with Dean because I'm a lot more like Sam. I don't drink or party or act as impulsively as Dean. I love school, reasoning with people, and I'm generally as self-aware as Sam is. But for whatever reason, I feel like I get Dean.
Dean is loyal and cares about his family. He is all bravado and jokes. He doesn't commit to much, or share all his feelings all the time. He's a bit of an asshole, and I fully admit that he is misogynistic, and yet I love him anyway. Does that make me a bad feminist? Well, it's hard because there's not much I can love if it has to be perfectly feminist. So I love him despite his flaws.
But this post isn't about my love of Dean. It's about fandom, and passionately one can love fictional worlds. How characters can feel like best friends, comforting me when I'm lonely, or available any time I want to celebrate.
It's such a personal relationship I have with the things I love that I try to downplay it. I really do. When I say I love Dean Winchester, people don't get that I genuinely do feel a really strong protectiveness for this character that means so much to me. I'm not loving it because of my friends, or because of anything that can variably change. I love it because I can't touch it. I can't ruin it. It can't be ruined for me.
This is something truly significant to me. At one point in my life, I felt like everything was changing and I didn't want it. I felt like I was trying so hard to hold onto something that was slipping away. Everyone else was moving on, and I was left behind with nothing but memories of better days. I remember the phrase I would use "searching for constancy, seeking permanence." I think this is the point where my fandom would always grow.
People come and go. This isn't to say I don't love people. I think there's something so special about the people that stay, that are constants in life, but that's another conversation, and even those people can leave you or you can leave them. I've experienced both. I think people are unreliable. Fandom is different.
When you love something in fandom, it stays with you. It's that one moment in time that never changes. It's these characters and their story, that you can watch when you're 13, or when you're 18, and it's still yours to love. These characters aren't real. They don't move on or change. Eventually, if you hate the direction a fandom or story is going in, you can just quit. It's not something that forces you to hold on, there are no messy goodbyes, there are no demands made of you. You love it because you love it and if you don't love it, you don't. There's no sympathy or sorrow, shame or regret. It's just what it is.
And because of this lack of commitment, because of how easy it is, it feels like I can love fully when it comes to my fandoms. This content is mine. The creator creates it, and I experience it in whatever way my mind conceives, and it's such a personal thing.
It's midnight and I'm writing this as I was pondering how one scene with Dean Winchester utterly devastated and broken could have me so emotional too. And not the kind of emotional where I'm sad when I'm watching, and then I let it go. How can I just absorb a mood from TV like that? How can I let myself fully feel this when real-terrible things have happened and I didn't flinch?
Fandom is safety. It's private, and personal. It doesn't demand anything from me, and I can just fully enjoy it without reservation. I thought this applied to real life fandoms too (think sports) but I've grown up past the point where sports stars are heroes.
I'm lucky to have fandom. But sometimes, I can't help but wish for more. Everything comes at a price, and this is fandom's. As much as I love it, as satisfying as it can be, sometimes it leaves me hollow because I wish so much that there could be more to a story. It's a strange yearning, it's muddling that so much love can be put into something that won't reciprocate, and that can so easily be forgotten and left behind.
I always try to write my posts with some sort of conclusion, but I can't think of anything appropriate for this post. I guess it's that fandom is something really important in my life, and yet I never think of it that way except when I'm immersed in it. I don't remember my life based on which story enchanted my mind for what period of time. I look at actions, and people, academics and careers. And yet whenever I need it, there it is.
And to be honest, that comforts me. I'm happy to be able to live in a world where I can find these things that drive me to write a random blog post in the middle of a Saturday night. It's like a reminder that the world has so much to offer, and I'm excited about the fandoms that matter to me today, and I'm also excited about the new things I'll love tomorrow.