There is always a moment when you enter a fandom when you definitively cross the divide from mild enthusiasm to "trash of the thing". One day you're like, "Oh, yeah, I heard Agent Carter was a good show," and the next day your eyes are bloodshot, your pointer finger destroyed from repeatedly smashing the reblog button, your Tumblr page a mess of random garble about your ships and inside jokes and crossovers that somebody needs to make happen right the eff now.
It doesn't help that the madness of fandom is more heightened now than ever. For instance, the first fandom that psychologically destroyed me was Harry Potter, and back in those early days, fangirling was limited to LiveJournal and Fanfiction.net. Now we've got endless Tumblr-ing, more established fan conventions, Twitter, Instagram, AO3 — honestly, there are so many ways to channel your geekery in 2016 that it's a wonder we even show up to our day jobs anymore.
It's not just the accessibility, though. We are #blessed to live in an era where nerds are no longer shoved into their cliché lockers, but seem to be in the majority, openly and proudly sharing their ~trash selves~ with each other. The acceptance is beautiful and the camaraderie is EPIC, and fandom culture is more present in the mainstream than ever. I want to go back in time and fist bump my teenage self. WE DID IT, YOU GUYS. We (kind of) made weirdness (almost) cool!!
But of course, even the best things on this earth have a few drawbacks. Whether you just jumped aboard the fandom express, or have been riding it your whole nerdy life, or got unwittingly yanked on by a friend, you will understand all these fandom struggles far too well.
Your Problematic Faves Are SO PROBLEMATIC
You in the real world: "Um wow did you see the sass she used asking to borrow the stapler? We're so done."
You in fandom: "Awww, she only killed six people, the seventh one she just left there for dead because there's SO MUCH GOOD IN HER."
Shipping Wars Are A Genuine Bloodbath
*slowly backs away from all Star Wars ships*
You Frequently Bore Your Real Life Friends To Death With Your Fangirling
There is no shame more real than trying to explain to your human friends why your favorite thing is your favorite while also butchering the hell out of your favorite.
... And The Friends Who Actually Want To Fangirl With You Live On Other Continents
And in approximately 86 separate time zones, so you tend to freak out about fandom news in awkward, staggered waves.
There Is Literally Nothing Productive About Fandom That Will Help You The Real World
I guess I'm writing an article about it right now, so I'm the exception to the rule. But weirdly I am NOT getting paid for my hundreds of thousands of words of Spider-Man fic? Win some, lose some, fam.
You Will Inevitably End Up Shipping The One Thing There Is No Fan Fiction For
It is the emotional equivalent of being helicoptered into the middle of a desert with no prayer for rescue.
And If There Is A Good Fan Fiction, The Writer Ghosts Halfway Through
Damn these authors for having dumb day jobs and dumb families and dumb lives outside of this fandom dumpster you live in.
Your Painful, Not-So-Secret Hopes And Dreams Never Become Canon
All the writers of these movies and books and television shows are just trying to plunge a knife into your little shipper heart, it's casual.
You Are Secretly Hella Stressed Out By Conventions
The concept is simple: Pick your cosplay. Show up. Stand in lots of lines. Geek out.
But also what if you get lost and miss all your faves or someone's cosplay makes yours look dumb or you spontaneously combust or any number of PERFECTLY LOGICAL THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG, GOOD GOD, DON'T DO IT, JUST STAY HOME.
Scrolling Through Tumblr For Your Faves Is Like Playing Porn Roulette
Maybe you’re looking for porn. Maybe you’re not. Either way, ENJOY SOME PORN.
You Assumed That At One Point You'd "Grow Out" Of Fandom, And Then You Never Did
*fist bumps 11-year-old self from across the time-space-grilled cheese continuum*
You Pretty Much Haven't Slept Since 2008
Images: Disney; Giphy