Whilst browsing Facebook one day, I was looking at updates from the GHA (Gallifreyan-Human Alliance, a local Doctor Who fan group based at the University of Minnesota) and found this post:
Utterly disoriented, I went to the Facebook page and became even more disoriented. First off, the photoshopped pic of Cumberbatch with curly (but not quite Sherlock-curly) hair completely threw me off, because it looked familiar to me, like I knew the person in the photo, but not like "oh, hey, that's my favorite actor;" more like, "Hey, I went to high school with that person." That kind of familiar. Which was utterly bizarre and made my head hurt. Secondly, I had no idea what Cowboy Bebop was. First impressions made me think modern musical about the wild, wild west. Wrong. So wrong.
Before Wikipedia, I merely would have shrugged and shoved my confusion aside. But because Wikipedia exists, I was discover just what Cowboy Bebop was:
I was sort of kicking myself when I found out it was Japanese anime. Several of my friends from high school were/are huge anime/manga fans and I have some limited (so limited I really shouldn't mention it but going to because I have at least read a manga) knowledge of it. I felt like I should have heard of it before but hadn't. I mean, bounty hunting cowboy space traveler, dealing with themes of existentialism, ennui, and loneliness? Yeah, totally should have heard of this.
It's incredible the number of things I've been unaware of and then suddenly I'm exposed to it and I'm left wondering, "Wow. I've gone through how many years of my life not knowing something like this exists? What a shame." Generally I've had this revelation with books and music for the most part (especially because I've taken to listen to the Current, a local radio station that has the most fantastic music library known to man, and thus have been having my ear drums blown by great songs I never knew existed) but now it's a constant stream of thoughts like, "Wait, Steven Moffat made a modernization of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and I'm just learning this now?!" and feelings like, "Where would I be if I hadn't decided to buy that Michael Chabon book or watch Midnight in Paris?" and various cries of dismay such as, "Do Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch have to keep doing roles that are totally interesting and engaging so that I spend my weekend ruing the fact that Netflix's instant play selection is rather lacking from their cinematography?" and "Will I ever get caught up in Doctor Who when I keep watching other TV shows that are recommended to me?" But the big two are: "Why do I keep buying books when I still have a pile of books I haven't read?" and "God, Bon Iver is so great. How many times can I listen to "Skinny Love" on repeat until it's unconsidered unhealthy?" (Answer to the Bon Iver question: The limit does not exist.)
Basically, being in a fandom has expanded my awareness and interests in about a hundred different directions, and I'm going to end up spending the rest of my life reading and watching and exploring all of this. And it couldn't please me more :D