I became a fangirl twelve years ago. I was a teenager and Pacey Dawson’s Creek stole my heart. I behaved then just like everybody does on tumblr (except there was no tumblr, so it was a lot more lonely and not as easy). Dawson’s Creek ended but my passion for it didn’t. I kept reading fan fiction and searching the web for info on the actors and watching videos on youtube for years after the show was canceled. When that passion started fading, I found Jim and Pam ‘The Office’ and then Lost. I wasn’t as passionate about them, but still they took up most of my free time and internet bandwidth. Until one day there came Fringe, and I became obsessed with it like I was for Dawson’s Creek (I suspect Josh has something to do with it).
Now, as a mini breakdown forces me to stop and take a look at what the hell I’m doing with my life, I stumbled onto the website I used to go for DC fan fiction; I spend a night going over the stories I loved so much and the taste of those memories resurfacing is bittersweet. I realized that I’m stuck in this sort of behavior like a needy person who will only give up a relationship when another one is already in sight (do I have to mention that my teenage years is filled with short lived, self sabotaged relationships while the picture of my love life during my college years had only spots of casual encounters and I haven’t kissed anyone in exactly four years?).
Tonight, as I was reading another one of those beloved Dawson’s Creek fan fiction, I started wondering if the author was now a published writer, if she had moved on and gotten a life. Then I got this horrible feeling that I’m stuck in my teenage years because I still find myself behaving like I hadn’t aged a day from when I was crazy about Dawson’s Creek. Before I got stuck in my usual self loathing cycle, I realized that I have done some stuff, and accomplished minor things. I surely have matured and grown independent. The only thing that haven’t changed are my tendency to become passionate about these fictional characters I identify so much with but most people don’t care about (and my fear of commitment, but that’s another story).
That’s when I realized that maybe being a fan girl might not be a teenager thing, but some sort of hobby or pastime, something I like to do. And, maybe, I don’t have to feel bad about this because it’s ok to be passionate about fictional characters just like some people are passionate about knitting, and others about scrapbooking, and others about sports. As long as I don’t use it to hide from the struggles of real life and get totally sucked into it to the point I get mildly depressed, I’m ok. Maybe I don’t have to grow out of this because this is who I am.