It doesn’t take long to get jaded in fandom. When the realisation hits that you’re part of a community full of real live people, none of whom are perfect, many of whom are crazy, the honeymoon ends and the reality sinks in.
But the reality is ultimately more fulfilling than the illusion, because while the lows might be lower, the highs only seem to get higher. Because it *means* more now. I’ve got more to lose. I’ve invested emotions into fandom and the friendships I’ve developed here that normal people would likely find preposterous. Coz we ain’t normal, dudettes.
Fandom changed my life years ago and continues to do so. It's given me an insatiable passion for the medium of television, it's taught me to write the hottest porn. It's turned me into a fiercely critical viewer and reader. It's inspired me to write meta. Fandom has helped me develop and hone my tastes, to the point where my standards are so damn high (and only getting higher) I’m almost impossible to please.
But I don’t mind that because on the odd wondrous occasion I get blown away.
The art in what we do, in what we’re interested in, is what makes this hobby—screw it, this way of life—so rewarding.
The shows and the stories we love are sometimes so artful their very existence moves me. Fandom is bursting at the seams with art and creativity. Fic, icons, meta, vidding, posts about nothing and everything, hell, communication itself on LJ is its own art form. It’s a constant learning and teaching experience. Every day we create things and we absorb what others create.
Added to that, we’re a community of women, which is, in many ways, the most special thing of all. We’re bitches, we’re crazy, we’re weird, we’re funny, we’re stupid, we’re smart, we’re brilliant, we’re insecure. We’re jealous and supportive and admiring and kind. We’re generous and mean and loving and hating. We’re strong, we’re weak, we’re emotional, we’re ridiculous, we’re extraordinary.
Sometimes the term “real life” bugs me. I use it because it’s convenient and everyone understands what it means, but it implies that what happens in fandom isn’t real. You know? And I spend half my freaking life here. My friendships here are real, the things I write are real, the experiences I have are real, the emotions fandom brings out of me are real. And no one in my “Real Life” can share it with me; they don’t get it and they never will. What would I do without girlmostlikely and radioreverie to talk to every day? Without bop_radar, norwich36 and toadstoolsmiles? They’re real. My love for them and for so many of you and for fandom in general is real. And it’s an enormous, irreplaceable part of my life.
I’m pretty certain it always will be.