current mood: awake
I love my fandoms. In general, I love the idea of fandoms. You like something. You connect with the other people who like that thing. The people closest to you sigh in relief because you aren't forcing them to watch/play/read/listen to whatever it is you like (or maybe you do, in which case you could be either a very good or very bad fan).
Fandoms extend and expand my love of certain topics. They give me new art or stories to look forward to. They present me with cosplay pictures to make me jealous. Fandoms turn a simple obsession into a social activity, and I am a rather social person.
When I like something, I look for the fandom. Sometimes I get involved. Sometimes I get involved in just an aspect of it - cosplay, for example. Sometimes I find the local chapter and don't get involved in the worldwide fandom. Sometimes I just lurk and enjoy.
I've been going to cons since 2002, when I was 15. My first convention was a little gem in Columbus, Ohio, called Marcon. It wasn't until 2006 that I started going to anime cons, and that was not so much that I loved anime as that I wanted to go to more cons in a year. In 2010, I went to 15 conventions and said, "Never again." I cut it down to 10 in 2011.
For three years, I have steadily become more involved in Metal Gear fandom. I can't say I'm a "leader" or anything, but my cosplay, fanfic, and mini-convention are known among Metal Gear fans. And that's neat. It's been a fun fandom, full of humor and irreverence and ever-so-much slash. I don't plan to leave it any time soon.
But after three years of mostly Metal Gear with a dash of my long-lived Harry Potter fandom on the side, I wanted to get into something new. I checked my local library for a series many of my friends have loved since they were teenagers (most of them are quite a bit older than I am) - Doctor Who. I started with the Ninth Doctor and was hooked immediately. It wasn't the slow descent into fannish ecstasy I had with Metal Gear. It was a sudden awakening to a labyrinthine series of shows, audio plays, and books.
So far, I've only been tangentially involved in the fandom. I'm reserving further involvement for when I finish all of the current Eleventh Doctor episodes. That may take a while as I've gone back to watch as much of Classic Who as I can find.
Starting on a new fandom journey, especially into one so beloved by so many people around the world, feels like an adventure on par with one of the Doctor's own.
For those who liked me as a Metal Gear fan and are afraid most of my fannish energies will be directed at Doctor Who for a while, you're probably right. But I'm not one of those who leaves a fandom in a huff for something new. I'll still be here enjoying Metal Gear art and writing Metal Gear fanfic. I'll still wear my Boss costumes to cons and probably continue to plan an Escape from Outer Heaven for 2012 if there's enough interest. We all change. We all grow. If you're anything like me, you still giggle with childish glee every time you fall in love with a new fictional character. Finding new fandoms is part of life in this subculture, and it should never be considered wrong.