the divine power of fandom

Two very significant things have happened to me over the past two weeks. Or perhaps, in at least one of these cases, I happened to the thing. Unclear. ANYWAY:

  1. I put in notice at my job.
  2. I finally got around to watching Good Omens. 

Here’s how I feel about both of those things:

  1. It’s just time. I’m not mad at anyone, and there’s no element of, “Yeah, fuck this place!” As I told my boss, “I don’t know who I am without this place, because it’s always been there.” I need to find out who I am, as a person and as an artist. I need to keep growing and exploring. I am excited, but also terribly sad. I love my work friends, and am agonizing over the worry that we won’t stay real friends.
  2. … Which is perhaps why Good Omens has struck such a GIGANTIC CHORD WITH ME. YOU GUYS. I know I am late to this party, but AUGH. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. And, as I type this all out, I think part of the attraction is becoming clear: Aziraphale and Crowley are the ultimate work friends who get to stay real friends.*

It’s been such a relief to have fallen in nerd-love again. That Penny Lane-aching-heart breaking-fan love. It’s such a powerful feeling! It’s what sends us to Dragon Con each year, it’s what makes me nearly froth at the mouth at the prospect of NOT seeing a new Star Wars or MCU movie on opening day.

I feel like I am thirteen-years-old again, and I’m happy. After a tough summer that saw me almost hospitalized for my mental illness, I feel so joyous in this autumn of pure nerd love that I have found. Because, yes, I have resumes and cover letters and LinkedIn profiles and changing my whole life to figure out and work on, and I’m doing it, BUT. To have goofy smiles spring unbidden to my face just by THINKING about Aziraphale and Crowley? That is not a place I’ve been in for a long time. Again, I am reminded of being in middle school and discovering The Lord of the Rings for the first time, and feeling so much happier and more secure for keeping those characters as close to me as I could.

Because these characters that I love have always felt like my comrades in arms against my brain goblins and monsters. And Depression shapeshifted on me this summer, and threw me for a complete fucking loop. I was used to Despair, I was accustomed to Hopelessness. This summer, Depression attacked me as something new: as the Absence of Excitement. Realizing what was happening was about the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. Because, listen, friends, whatever else you think you get about me, understand this: I am Dani Fucking Herd, and I AM EXCITED ABOUT THINGS. I am, arguably, too all in on the things I love. For example: no, you made an appointment to get your hair professionally colored for your Aziraphale Halloween costume. Weirdo.

So, to feel… nothing? It was horrifying.

So, I wasn’t sure I could get back here. To obsessing over a geeky book/show so much that it makes me smile out of nowhere. I am so scared about the future, but I also feel confident and safe in a way that I haven’t felt in months, perhaps years. My partner jokingly suggested that I should wait a few months before getting a Good Omens tattoo, just in case I jump off the hype train after a while. But I really kind of want one, less as a testament of my devotion to the fandom, and more as reminder that, even as a mentally ill 30-year-old, I am capable of these feelings. I attribute this show– along with my incredible friends– to coaxing me out of a darkness that I’ve been unable to get myself out of on my own.

I have so many more rambling thoughts about this. So, let’s have coffee and talk about everything. I want to do things again, and writing that down makes me want to cry from joy. I do not hate myself right now, because I am just too overwhelmed with love. It’s amazing. It’s incredible.

It’s ineffable.

  • Allow me to be tremendously clear on that “friends” point. I will die on the Aziraphale/Crowley ship. Please send me your fanfiction. It is my everything right now. Thank you, you sweet, sweet souls.

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