Can you believe it? I can’t. 2011 was an interesting year for me. The five years since have been full of ups and downs and in a lot of ways, this blog was my one constant. I am no longer prolific on social media so WordPress is basically my only outlet. The best thing about it is that, it’s so easy to read everything back. With Twitter and everything else, it’s a bit of a slog. I think reading back what you’ve written is always important. For two reasons, one is because I blog for myself so it makes sense that I read it and two self awareness is key. Even before I started this blog, I’d read old posts elsewhere and think what am I doing here? Even here, I’ve abandoned many a post because I realised that there are better ways to spend my time than ranting over people that don’t know I exist. Not that I don’t enjoy a good snarkfest post about Jared and his idiocy. That’s my one irrational thing and even though I’ve toned it down of late, I’m always ready to call him out on his messiness.
Anyway, you all know the story. Or, well, you can read about it here and here.
To ’celebrate’, what I want to do is talk about the actual process of unravelling yourself from a needless obsession. When I first started this blog, I was an embarrassing mess of a sort of SPN and Jared fan. The early posts are basically me fawning over Jared’s hair and Sam, basically. I cringe whenever I come across one. However, this blog basically shows my eventual awakening from the stupor I was in for several years.
1. Coming To Your Senses
The earliest post about Jared in general is the PSH incident, but in fact, where things really soured was when he joined Twitter. So, not too long before I began the blog. It has basically been five years of reminders that I was once obsessed with someone that I wouldn’t even want to communicate with. Ever. And people always come here and accuse me of attacking Jared baseless, but actually…I was a fan long enough to have heard unsavoury things even before I had the evidence.
His Twitter was the final straw for me, particularly his comments during the Trayvon Martin case. That was just offensive to me on a personal level. Fans will bang their heads against the wall and tell you that it was X years ago, but I am yet to see any evidence that he’s not the asshole he portrays himself as online.
2. Realising that being obsessive is not cute
Anyway, obsessing is like a full time job. You have your routine. There are competitions for who is the obsessiest of them all. So I had alerts, saved searches…all kinds of nonsense. One day, I just got rid of it all. Now, it isn’t that easy. I have turned off and turned on alerts more times than I can count. The trick is the point at which you just never get around to turning it back on because it doesn’t even occur to you.
I always remember a former friend of mine bitching about my self-proclaimed role as Jared’s ’craziest fan’ (I probably was), like I was being insulting to the rest of his crazy fans (I probably was). I laugh about it now, but it was a joke that apparently didn’t go down very well. The stakes are high. Very, very high. Anyway, luckily for me, Jared and his weirdness kind of forced me into Obsession Rehab. I get that actors have media training but up until his new role as Fandom Counsellor, all Jared did for six years was say the same shit over and over. That’s fine and all but I remember thinking, ’where’s the substance, this is just words?’ and that coupled with some other things made me sort of cool on the obsession. He joined Twitter shortly after and the rest, as they say, was history. Or well….
3. I realised that putting people on a pedestal is unhealthy
Jared on Twitter was interesting for me. I was honestly completely loopy for him around that time but my reaction to his Twitter was like…kind of like when you first receive your friend request from your parents? Or like, when you see a fox or racoon. Realistically you know that they just want food but you don’t feel comfortable with them around. That was how I felt. And that was reinforced by the quality of the tweets. I actually went back through my posts and oddly enough, there is no post about the tweet (or tweets) that kind of made me say…”I’m kind of done with this dude”. I think that’s probably for the best, lol. That being said, I can write about it now. The reverse racism comments were a huge red flag. The fact that it was said in regards to Trayvon Martin was even worse. The debates ignited by that case were unhelpful at the very least. Cracker vs the N word was stupid. If we’re not saying one of the words, I think we can all decide which one is worse. And also, yeah, cracker is a derogatory term but one that lacks the historical connotation of the N word. And yes, I’m aware of the origins, but given that one group was the oppressor and the other was oppressed, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce which one is worse. Anyway, that and some of the other shit he said was just unnecessary. My unreasonable detector reached full capacity. Since then, his social media has only provided more stupidity.
It’s funny because when his fans come here and dutifully inform me that I don’t know Jared (I’m guessing they’ve all read his non-existent autobiography), my reaction is just like, ”…yeah, and I hope it stays that way!”. If anything, I am disappointed in myself for ever expecting anything from any celebrity. Hell, I should count my lucky stars that Jared pretended to be a reasonable person for so long. My 16 year old self would be CRUSHED if she read this blog. No lie.
4. Cutting out the source
People are fickle. Friends are fickle. Fandom friends see fickle multiplied by a hundred. If you’re lucky, you will meet a few people that you can call friends for life. If those people make up all 2000 of your Twitter followers, you’re not doing it right. What am I talking about? Well, one thing I hear a lot is ”I still watch the show because I’ve made so many great friends blah blah blah”…I mean, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but these people aren’t your friends. Well, not most of them. It’s kind of like an extended concert. You get chatting to the person next to you, but more likely than not, you won’t see them again.
Before I quit Twitter, I was aware of that. How? Test run. I took a few months off, came back to crickets and I didn’t have enough interest to drive up my profile. I was receiving hundreds of replies a day and now it was nothing. And actually, while I was disappointed at first…I had more free time. I didn’t have to be ’on’ or witty in order to get replies. I watched the show at my own pace and without any commentary but my own. Eventually, the show just became a show that I watched and no longer an obsession. I cut out everything else, LJ, Tumblr etc and I haven’t looked back since.
5. Dealing with the naysayers
One thing I’m not really proud of is maybe being vocal about my growing dislike of the show and Jared in an environment where there were fans of the show and Jared. In some ways, I guess I was poking the bear and that is one of the things this blog helped me with.
That being said, I have dealt my fair share of verbal blows. Or well, written blows. I can’t stand people who need things to be their way or no way. I had a few friends who would berate me for this blog…it was weird. I left all of these other places, I have a blog that no one is obligated to read. That’s wrong too? Needless to say, I fell out with those people.
Anyway, you can’t quit an obsession cold turkey. It’s gradual and people will do their best to fuck that up for you. All you can do is ignore them. Or better yet, keep doing what you’re doing.
As for people over the years, I’m blessed in that Supernatural has such an obsessive, toxic effect on people that negativity is rare. Or rather, negative opinions are rare. People who enjoy their peace just keep it quiet. I’m clearly not one of those people so I have a unique voice in a way. And I’m not sorry about it either. There’s no harm in not liking something anymore and no harm in talking about something you don’t like. No one should tell people otherwise.