Things I’ve Learned From Fangirling

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I’ve been a fangirl for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid it was The Black Stallion books, Star Trek, Star Wars, Spider-man, country music and Barbie, (weirdly most of these things are still in play!). In my 20s and 30s it was and continues to be The Office, Twilight, Marvel Comics (Daredevil in particular), YA urban fantasy books (various series), Arrow, and the Big Bang Theory. At the moment, I’m fangirling pretty hard for Shadowhunters (Malec!) and The Mortal Instruments book series its based on from author Cassandra Clare.

I’ve recently given some thought on what fangirling has meant in my life and what it has taught me.¬†Some may view fandom as irrational behavior based in fantasy (and in some ways it is), but for many like myself I can see how some of the ridiculous things fangirls do actually carries over into reality.

Fangirls are made of some pretty tough stuff. I’ve survived some of the most heartbreaking and heart-pounding situations ever through my favorite books and movies. For example:

  • The Office: It took three seasons for Jim and Pam to get together. Every episode they didn’t find their way to one another was another little stab in the heart.
  • In Arrow: I survived Oliver “dying” in a midseason cliffhanger and the Olicity break-up (I’m still in denial on this one, though).
  • Twilight: I survived Edward breaking up with Bella in New Moon.
  • The Mortal Instruments: I survived Malec on page 511. It was so horrific we can’t even talk about it.

That means we can survive just about anything real life can throw at us. For instance, there’s nothing my students can throw at me that I can’t handle. Any time they challenge me I smirk while thinking, “Oh, please. I survived Picard getting kidnapped and turned into a Borg.”

Fangirls are incredibly empathetic. Part of the reason we get so emotionally involved and obsessed is because of our high capacity to internalize what others are feeling.

  • I cried at Jim and Pam’s wedding. And at Edward and Bella’s. (I’m sure I will at Malec’s as well. Please Cassandra Clare. Oh, please let us have this!)
  • I also cried during the last installment of Malec’s ongoing story in Tales from Shadowhunter Academy because I was overwhelmed with their happiness – they deserve it!
  • In The Mortal Instruments, I was so angry that Jace and Clary were brother and sister, that I threw the book and needed a moment to calm down.
  • In Harry Potter, I bawled so hard when Harry realized he had to die I needed an hour to get it together before I could jump back in.

Empathy, IMHO, is one of the most important traits anyone can have. It gives us the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, no matter how different they are from us. Fangirls are extraordinary practitioners of empathy!

Fangirls always have something to look forward to. This is especially true if you’re a fangirl with multiple fandoms. Let’s face it – day to day life can get monotonous. Even boring! Fangirls don’t get bored because we’re always waiting for:

  • book, movie, merchandise, tv season release dates
  • the next new episode
  • Fan events, conventions, Comicon!
  • Concert dates
  • social media updates
  • collector’s editions
  • …and about a million other things depending on the fandom

Fangirling makes you tech savvy. This is very true if you’re fangirling via social media. Over the years, a lot of my computer skills have come from fangirling.

  • The Office: I learned basic coding while posting and moderating on a message board.
  • Twilight: I learned photo cropping, editing, isolating videos, and how to create mp4 files.
  • Arrow, Shadowhunters, and Daredevil: I learned how to make gifs, screen capture videos, and “Twitter-speak.”

There’s so much more, so I may have to do another volume of my sociological analysis of being a fangirl. It’s not just for fifteen-year-olds or so-called nerds stuck in a fantasy world. It’s for anyone who loves something with everything they have and it truly does translate to real life.

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c.b.w. 2017

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My Favorite Meant To Be Couples

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I haven’t always been huge on the holiday filled with red, pink (my least favorite color), teddy bears and large monkeys, but I do love love.  There is something magical about someone accepting and adoring you for who you are no matter what.  My husband is that man for me and I don’t need a holiday to appreciate all he does for me because I thank my lucky stars each and every day that he remains by my side.

Okay, I’m done being all mushy.  Being the fangirl I am (see The Authograph Ninja), I can’t help but have a little fun.  While real life love is the best thing out there, I am a sucker for TV couples from some of my favorite shows.  Here are my favorites:

Jim and Pam from The Office

Best TV Kiss Ever!

Sheldon and Amy from The Big Bang Theory

Most Awkward TV Kiss

Mary Margaret and David (or their alter egos Snow and Prince Charming) from Once Upon A Time

TVs Best Fairy Tale Kiss

And just for fun, a few from the movies:

Edward and Bella

Best. Couple. Ever

Ron and Hermione

Long Overdue, but Worth It!

Ariel and Prince Eric

Kiss the Girl!

Peter Parker and Mary Jane

Best Superhero Kiss

Of course, there are a slew more that I love, but these popped into my head first. Happy Valentine’s Day to my family, friends, and readers! May your day be filled with love and joy.

What are your favorite couples?

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c.b. 2012

Wreck This Journal: Smile

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The last few Wreck This Journal posts highlighted some critical epiphanies, so I thought it was time to be a little more lighthearted. ¬†There are several blank pages in the journal, which I’ve decided are there for me to experiment with my own ideas. ¬†On one of those blank pages I created a little shrine for a few things in life that make me happy. ¬†Aside from family, friends, and a slew of other little joys, these are some of my favorite things that keep me smiling:

The curve of the book makes it hard to read so I’ll fill in a few blanks!

Books . . . make me think. ¬†I’ve had a book in my hand every since I was little girl. ¬†To this day, a lot of my free time is spent reading everything from literature, mainstream, YA, and historical non-fiction. ¬†It’s a passion! ¬†Every evening, I look forward to time with a good book.

Chocolate . . . is a food group (I swear it is). ¬†This will probably be my undoing, but I can’t resist that sweet, smooth, and delectable treat. ¬†It’s almost like I have a relationship with this stuff, (especially Reese’s Peanut Butter cups!).

Movies . . . remind me to dream.  I go to the movies almost every weekend ($5 on Sunday mornings!) and I have a massive DVD collection in my home.  And never mind, what I keep on my iPod!  I love just about every genre as long as its well-made, original, fun, or thought provoking.  Movies take me to another place and let my imagination go crazy.

TV . . . is both good and bad. ¬†I only watch a handful of shows, but once or twice a week I’m glued to the TV. ¬†After a long day of work or a hard day of writing, my brain needs a break! ¬†Currently, I’m watching Big Bang Theory, Person of Interest, The Office (sometimes), Once Upon a Time, and Psych.

Crosswords . . . keep me searching for the right words. ¬†Every day after work, I sit down with a bowl of cereal and complete a crossword puzzle. ¬†It’s relaxing and it keeps my mind sharp. ¬†As a writer, I’m fascinated by words and I think its incredibly important to always keep my inner dictionary fresh and updated.

Music . . . is my emotional soundtrack. ¬†My iPod is never more than a couple feet away from me. ¬†It’s filled with playlists for every mood, writing project, or event in my life. ¬†Some of my playlists include: At the Movies, Bluesy Rock, BritFolk, Cheese Factory (essentially this is guilty pleasure music that is cheesy beyond belief), Christmas, Classical, Rainy Day, Running Music, If I Could Dance, Easy Listening, Feel Good Mix, and Feelin’ Fierce. ¬†There’s many more, but this is already sounding a bit crazy!

Barnes & Noble Cafe . . . makes me smile and gives me a place to relax. ¬†Yes, I actually cut apart my coffee cup and pasted it to the page! I spend anywhere from 3 to 4 evenings a week at my local Barnes & Noble. ¬†I love the people, the coffee, and the atmosphere. ¬†This is where I write, relax, and socialize. ¬†It’s like a second home to me and I always look forward to walking through the doors.

What are your favorite things?

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For previous Wreck This Journal posts, please see my sidebar and tag cloud.

c.b. 2011