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.
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.
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.