First and foremost, it’d be unkind of me to say that I haven’t lived my entire life caught in the web of some sort of obsession; I tell no lies—I’ve done this hardcore fan-thing for as long as I can recall. (If you’re a member of my family/v close knit group of friends, you can skip to the end because none of what I have to say can, or should, surprise you!)

But the easiest way to get to the point is, natch,…a brief history:

From a shockingly mismatched list of things–music, movies, tv, sports teams, and so forth, I’ve lived a large part of my life fully and completely immersed into fandom. There’s been more –GASP– fanfiction (I cannot wait to write a diatribe on this particular societal taboo…) in my dusty, dark internet corner than original fiction, and to this day, I am as proud as a peacock about it. Oh, did you know that, apparently, peacocks are proud?! Interesting.

I digress. What I’m attempting to both define AND share with you is this: What does it mean to be an adult fangirl?

As previously mentioned, I am 32 years old. I’m not 16, or 12, etc. so going bananas over an actor or musician may seemingly belong to the youth, but this rule most definitely does not apply to everyone. Shocker: I’m a ‘someone’ in that ‘everyone’ statement; this, and other expectational adult-ing guidelines, simply do not apply to me.

I say that with no conceit or snobbery–merely that I know myself, or at least, am coming to understand the parts of my personality that are uniquely mine. And there’s no harm in doing this (actually, I encourage everyone to work on this, if you struggle with your identity like I do!).

Anyway, I fangirl and I do it hard. Not cosplay level, not yet anyway; next year’s Star Wars Celebration will see me donning the very svelte and badass Mara Jade leathers, so there’s that to look forward to. I don’t tack sexy posters on my walls or write Mark Hamill’s last name behind my first, nor do I fill copybooks with magazine clippings like I once did.

No, things of that sort are best left to the youthful and so I’ve rightly moved beyond that stage. Alas, don’t confuse those abandoned practices with not collecting paraphernalia though–I am a collector, only a bit more selective these days and well, monetarily based.

I also have a more accessible, approachable way to let my fangirl flag fly: Twitter. And this new blog, of course. But really, mostly, Twitter. I’ve found a home there, amongst a small group of girls I share an incredible passion over Star Wars, and Mark Hamill, with.

It’s because of this ‘Circle of Loveliness’ that I’ve learned more about myself; through their camaraderie, openness and friendship, I have discovered more of me than any of my LiveJournal accounts, Blogger pages or web-based forums from the before. These women know what it’s like to go beyond the typical fan appreciation and willingly choose to seek more from what drives their passions.

Which is exactly what I’ve been doing my entire life, only I’ve never had a name or definition for it until now.

So without further pause: I need to take a moment and give the biggest, squishiest heartfelt thank you to: Sara, Treena, Andrea, Elise, Jennifer, Angela, Rachel and Mel. What a simple, amazing thing it is to “meet” people and burn bright the fangirl mentality! This seems like such an obvious thing for us as human beings to do together, doesn’t it? Yet most refuse themselves the opportunities that merely SHARING with others, without judgement or fear or hesitation, can bring.

Boggles my mind to think that I lived so digitally quiet before now, be it via fanfiction reading/writing or stalking LJ pages (it’s been a long while since I’ve done this but not so long that it doesn’t warrant a mention here!).

In the end, what I take away from this is that I was hiding myself …from myself. And how utterly unfulfilling and downright sad it is to look back on that. But enough of the bleeding heart—I’m not closing this entry by waxing poetic on my closeted-fangirl past.

Rather, let’s return to the original question posed in the beginning of this blog: What does it mean to be an adult fangirl?

With loads of evidence listed above, I find it’s an easy answer: it’s to have people in your corner, people who are just like you, who understand how deep and meaningful a specific thing (and…Mark Hamill) can be. How knowing that the passion for it–whatever IT may be–excites your soul in ways that the majority of others don’t, or cannot, grasp. It means to be embraced for the quirks and the oddities and the time and money and effort spent forth into something that resonates with very few.

And it’s because of the people I’ve mentioned above and the outpouring of warmth from my most favorite galactic monster, the incomparable Star Wars, that I’ve grown. I’m comfortable writing this blog—something I’d never ever have done in the past. I just wouldn’t; I’d play it close to the chest and stifle the squees or repress the happiness. But no more.

Life is too short. Let me say that again, clearer this time: Life is too. fucking. short. not to live it and do what you love and share and give and BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE on the outside, too.

GO. Go and find your niche, track down your herd, put yourself in the game, whatever it is, and if it lights you up, do it. Do it for you.

I can almost bet you’ll have someone writing a blog and thanking you about it in the future.