Last Sunday, I deactivated all of my fandom accounts. That is: Twitter, Livejournal, and Tumblr (though I don’t even go on Tumblr anymore).
Upon immediately closing everything, I felt… free. Like I could breathe again.
I have always been a fangirl. It started when I was around ten or so, with our dial-up internet connection. None of the websites then were as streamlined, flashy, beautiful as they are now. There were mailing lists, forums, then later photo galleries, pure HTML made websites. I’ve been a fangirl since, consuming and researching everything there was about my fandom–from biographies, analysis, episode-by-episode synopsies, fanart, fanfiction, and so on. I wrote fanfiction, I began organizing fests and modding communities, and so on.
A couple of years ago, I went into a fandom that I didn’t really like, for the simple reason that I did not want to lose contact with some online friends who have moved on from all our shared fandoms and are focusing all their effort to this new fandom. Everywhere I looked–tumblr, livejournal, twitter–this new fandom was in my face, whether I liked it or not. It took months of resisting, until I finally gave in–nobody was left in the fandom I loved, everyone had moved on. I learned to like this new fandom, since it was still a subset of a bigger fandom that I was part of. But I never really loved it, was never as in to it, never passionate about it as any other fandom I had been in previously. Hell, I never even invested money in it, which is probably proof of how much I wasn’t into it–nothing that fandom offered, for me, was worth spending money on. Maybe it was because I only really liked one person from a group of several, or maybe it was the fandom culture itself (which is something to behold, to be honest. I’ve never been in a fandom with fans like this. I believe it has lots of things to do with the culture these people grew up in, in this era).
I guess it all boils down to: it was stupid of me to do that because if those people and I were compatible as friends anyway, we’d have found more ground than just fandom. I know this already from experience, but people that click with you, that you meet within fandom, with fandom taken out of the equation, are so few and far in between. I like(d) those people and didn’t want to lose the relationships. But this fandom really holds nothing positive for me, save for that one person I fangirl over. So I’ve begun my fandom cleanse.
I still owe three fanfics to three people in that fandom (which they won through auction, in exchange for a donation to the Haiyan relief efforts), and I hope I get to finish them, get the motivation to write properly soon.
This is strange for me, really. I fall out of fandoms and move on to new ones, but I’ve never lost completely lost interest in my previous ones. I move to something new, but sometimes I peek at my old ones, just to see how they’re doing; or in others, I still am a fan, just not as obsessed about it. I’ve never packed up and completely left, never wanted to completely eradicate something from my life.
First time for everything, I guess.
I started this entry to talk about how it feels strange, to suddenly have so much time on my hands after work. No photos to look at, no videos to catch up on, no people to fangirl with.
To work for five straight hours in the afternoon without checking Twitter updates every 30 minutes for airport photos, funny fandom things, tweets @ me about random fandom things I do not really care about but will muster up enthusiasm for because that’s how some online friendships work, a give and take.
In these last few days alone, I have put up a photo wall I’ve been meaning to do for months, updated/designed my planner, am almost finished completing an online course on UX, am trying to take better photos by learning how to use my camera phone and whatever nearby resources at hand and have written more in this blog.
It’s strange, quiet, but definitely good. I can focus on things for my life now. I am not, of course, completely cleansing myself from all fandoms – I feel like that wouldn’t be true to myself, I wouldn’t be able to help my intrinsic need to research and support something I love – but I am definitely removing myself from this one. Just three fics more, and I can be completely free.