The TV show is nearing 20 years old, yet all it takes is a few strains of the creepy whistling theme song, and I am reduced to a 12-year-old fangirl with a bursting heart and an unquenchable desire to seek the truth.
|One of the bonuses of following this fandom as an adult is gems like this|
We all have our triggers – those reminders of what it felt like to be part of something greater than our own insignificant teenage lives. For some, hearing a song or a band you once adored is enough to transport you back. For others, recalling beloved books and authors is the catalyst. For me, when it comes to The X-Files, I will always be an awkward, obsessed tween.
Unfortunately for me, as I grew up in South Africa, we were always three years behind in seasons and as such, the heyday of UFO euphoria had already passed by the time I was getting my paranormal kicks in high school. I was isolated in the universe of “X-Philes”; my love, my utter devotion, was to my peers as ludicrous and brow-raising as some of Mulder’s more outlandish theories.
At least I had one fellow fan...
My sister Emma, who spent countless Friday nights in front of the TV with me, gasping whenever a close encounter was had, and squealing if Mulder so much as held Scully’s hand. But we yearned for acceptance, the embrace of other fans. The same sense of belonging that you get when you spot someone wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of a band you love – that is what we craved. Sadly for us, the internet as we know it now was still in its infancy, and our years of dedication passed in isolation.
Fast-forward to the present, though, and happily it’s a different story
This past Christmas my sister and I, reunited in London, which we now both call home, received the complete X-Files box set as a gift. Re-watching all nine seasons with the benefit of Pinterest and hundreds of Tumblrs dedicated to the fandom, I am now blissfully part of an active community that still obsesses and adores, more than 10 years after the final episode.
This, for me, is one of the best outcomes of the internet and the consequent inter-connectedness of the planet. Browsing blogs, Pinterest boards, Facebook groups and Tumblrs dedicated to the things I hold dear gives me the warm fuzzies and a sense of comradeship I never felt before. The best part is discovering that other people don’t just like the same things, but the same combinations of things – there are hundreds of schmoopy YouTube videos celebrating just about every TV romance or partnership that ever was, and you can bet your limited edition box set that at least one of those will be set to a song by some obscure artist you were always afraid to admit loving.
The moral of this story? Don’t be afraid to wear your geeky heart on your sleeve, because somewhere out there, there’s someone exactly like you, and they’re also looking for a kindred spirit.
You can follow my Pinterest board dedicated to the Files and all manner of other dorky obsessions here.