Fifty Shades: 5 Years of Fifty

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What a difference five years can make.

Five years ago, I moved back home from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Twenty-six years old, newly-single after the ending of nearly four year relationship, unemployed, no money, and questioning all of my life’s decisions that had gotten me to that point in my life.

It wasn’t exactly where I imagined things being at twenty-six.

Out of sheer boredom one afternoon, I picked up reading fan fiction again – something I hadn’t dabbled in since university. At this time, it was, ahem, Twilight fan fiction and there was one that EVERYONE on Twitter was talking about: Master of the Universe, later to be known as Fifty Shades of Grey.

The minute I dove into this fic, life as I knew it would never be the same again. It got me through some lonely nights and rough days. I fell madly in love with these two beautiful and broken characters and their story. I got to know and interact with the author (who then went by the pen name SQicedragon) while bonding with so many others over her words and sharing excitement every time we got a new chapter (over the course of nearly two years). I read updates from all across Canada while traveling for work and as far as the beaches of Hawaii.

I read updates in bars on a blackberry at 1am circa 2010.

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No matter how much I loved it, I accepted the fact that this unique story would never be a published novel and in no reality would it ever be a movie that I would see come to life.

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100 million copies and a worldwide phenomenon later… No reality became a reality.

A former closet Twilight fan, I’m not embarrassed to admit today that it’s part of who I am, even if it’s been over a year since I’ve picked up any of the DVDs and even longer since I’ve touched the books. I’ve moved on from that part of my life, but I will be eternally grateful for everything that came from it. It’s silly, but I have the Twilight fandom to thank for many things that led to where I am today and how happy I am today.

In five years, I found my stride and my purpose. Landed my dream job. Moved into the perfect apartment I now call home all these years later. Travelled, travelled, travelled. And made some amazing memories and met some incredible people I’m now lucky to call my best friends along the way.

Fifty Shades may have been a Twilight fan fiction when I first fell in love with it – but it was a literary safety blanket in a time when I needed it most, that kept me positive, strong-willed, and ready to conquer the world.

And that, led me to where I am today.

A career girl, but still a fangirl, with a zest for life, happier than she’s ever been. One who is ready to sit down in the theatre tonight with some of my best friends and see five years come to life right before my eyes.

So this one’s for E.L. James. Thanks for the wild ride.

AND to all of you seeing the movie tonight – enjoy the show! And don’t forget to come back here tomorrow morning for the rawest, morning after thoughts because we all know I will not be sleeping tomorrow night.

xx

 

5 thoughts on “Fifty Shades: 5 Years of Fifty

  1. Yay! I never got info fan fic that much and honestly never read this or even the published book now. BUT, I love the emotion that comes with this post and about the fandom. We’ve moved on from that era of our lives (like you said) but it’s never forgotten! And I’ll never forget the real friends I made and online buddies like you and Jade and more! GROUP HUG!!!! xoxo LTT sisters

  2. A friend of mine posted a massive rant about Fifty shades last night. Im contemplating if it is appropriate for me to copy and paste it to you to so that you could read….
    There is a lot of hatred and mis understanding about this novel. My friend called it a book about “domestic violence”. Now, reading that far into her post, I could tell right away she did not read the series.
    I can not call myself a hardcore fan of the series, but I did enjoy it and do plan on seeing the movie. I just felt the need to share that I have a friend that hates it so much that she had to rant about it on Facebook, and hasn’t seen the movie or read the book…
    I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to your review!

  3. I do remember you talking about the fanfic way back when and your enthusiasm almost had me search it out and read it even though I wasn’t a twilight fan. LOL You’re THAT persuasive. And heaven knows I am an advocate of fan fiction. :) I did go on to read the 50 Books and although I wasn’t a huge fan of the Anastasia character I read all 3. (And of course I’ll see the movie because JAMIE). I will forever respect the changes EL James made in fiction – the ground she broke bringing fan fic into print and making sex mainstream (because it really wasn’t that graphic/good in mainstream romance before her, imo). And I don’t begrudge her her success. I just hope for a little of it myself come June and I’m fully aware my shot at it is partly because of the groundwork she’s done in the industry.

    1. This gave me all the feels. If not for fanfic, I wouldn’t have met you, and my life would be a little less happy.

      I also agree – EL James changed it forever and I’m beyond grateful. Haters gonna hate but I’ll always admire her. And she has been nothing but gracious and nice to me whenever I spoke to her following her fame.

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