melanie kristy · story

Beginnings of a Fangirl (in the late 90’s and early 2000’s)


I’ve been a fangirl before that was a word. I’ve been a fangirl for almost twenty years, long before the internet made fans accessible to each other, before there was a community to find online the way there is now. Before Tumblr and Instagram and Twitter. I say that and it makes me feel old.

I stood in long lines outside Filenes to get concert tickets when they went on sale. I wore a blue wig just to feel like I stood out in a crowd of thousands. I wrote letters that I never sent. I pasted posters from Bop magazine on my bedroom door. I scoffed at anyone who called me obsessed, dismissed people who refused to understand. At night I dreamed up scenarios where real people turned into characters in my mind.

I was a fangirl during the days of dial-up internet and AOL chats. I made e-mail newsletters in crazy fonts and colors before there were e-mail spam issues.


I wrote fanfiction for friends and strangers, emailed chapters of stories as I completed them. I met some of my best friends that way. We didn’t have website where we could upload images we created and make own our merchandise, and there weren’t fan sites that sold pretty things. No Etsy or Redbubble. We used Geocities to make fan pages with terrible flashy graphics instead.

The first form of “social media” and online expression that I immersed myself in was OpenDiary. After that there was Xanga, Myspace and Livejournal. All were online worlds where I could connect with people I didn’t know who loved the same things I loved. In these worlds I could open my heart up in an anonymous way, like writing in a journal that others would see. I could know that someone out there read what I read and felt that, too.


Being a fangirl in the early 2000’s meant you didn’t have a cell phone to text people, and you had to rely on long-distance phone calls to hear someones’ voice. We took pictures with regular cameras, selfies with digital cameras (before “selfie” was a word). Before digital cameras we had to wait for them to be developed and hope they came out okay. We recorded television appearances on VHS because we didn’t know if we could ever see those recordings, hear the silly stupid words said again.

Now there is a lot of community online. You can find community for any sort of thing you can fangirling over). You can immerse yourself and meet new people and relate. And I’m glad about this. I know lots of people scoff at everyone being too connected and addicted to their phones, but they discount the experiences of these people. They discount the connections made long distance with friends you’d never have met another way. I have a few very dear friends that I still talk to, and I met them because we connected over the Internet. We dreamed about Hanson. We wanted to write like Francesca Lia Block. When I was in high school I still felt disconnected. No one else had liked Francesca Lia Block, no one knew who she was. Everyone made fun of me for loving three blonde boys who, at one point, could have been mistaken for girls (who cares about their gender, anyway?). I’m glad we can get together and post in a group on Facebook, use hashtags and share fanart in ways that used to be more difficult.

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A couple years ago I read the book Fangirl  by Rainbow Rowell and it was the first time I read a book with a main character so much like me. I couldn’t believe it. All those years fangirling over books and music and falling in love with songs and boys – both fictional and real – and writing endless stories and finally I had found a character that I could relate to so much.

So being a fangirl has changed a lot over the years. In a way, I think it’s a lot cooler now, but maybe it just feels more cool to me. There’s more access to community, shops that make candles based on character and story scents, artists that sell fanart in the form of prints and clothing among other things, subscription boxes to fill your fandom needs and so much more.

xo.

Melanie Kristy

magic · Melanie Kristy · musings · Story

Do That Thing.


Do that thing.

Do that thing that makes you come alive. Find your passion and let it fuel you. Don’t lose sight of the world around you, the dreams you’ve always had. Don’t forget the friends who are soulmates, and the experiences that shape you. Let one weekend in a little city in Oklahoma change you. Let three brothers in a band make you.

Allow the thing you love to become you. Allow yourself to get lost in passion and forget who you might have been. Remember the teenager inside you, aching to come out. Learn everything you can about everything. Grow wings and fly.


Read the books that break you. Love the people even though it might hurt you. Be wild and free. Be alive and awake. Be aware. Create your bucket list and check off items. Add more things. Never finish that list. Sing the songs on repeat until they’ve memorized. Detail lives and experiences on your skin. Document your life in words and pictures.

Know what you believe in. Go after it. Jump far for it. Fight for your beliefs. Fight for yourself. Fight for everyone around you.
You’ve only got this one life. We aren’t immortal creatures. Live that one life.

Do that thing.

 

health · melanie kristy · story

Self Love & Importance & The Journey



I have done so many diets. I have read more diet/ nutrition books than you could count. I have intended on starting fasts, detoxes, and flushes. I’ve joined Weight Watchers / was a member of Weight Watchers at least once a year since I was seventeen.

I am so damn tired of it all.

I’m a body positive person. I’ve spent my life struggling with my body and my mind, the scale and my health stats. All of this. I don’t think to be fat means you are unhealthy. You can be healthy and overweight. You can be thin and unhealthy. You can be a normal weight and unhealthy. I’ve seen it, but that was never me.

To be healthy you need to love yourself. And loving yourself includes loving the body you are in right now. It includes giving yourself a huge hug and settling into self-care routines. It doesn’t matter if you want to change your body or not. You need to love it, and to appreciate it. It’s the only one you’ve got. If you have legs, they are what carries you. If you are seeing, your eyes are what give you light. If you have hair, it’s because you choose to. And if you don’t have these things, there are other aspects of your body that are there for you all the time. Your heart. Your skin. Your veins.

You cannot be healthy and be full of self-hate. You can’t try to scare yourself into good health. You can’t read books and gain knowledge and hope that changes your actions.  You can’t watch YouTube videos and buy workout machines and hope that it will bring you help or a pants size.

Everything about you starts from within. It starts with you and it starts with loving you.

This blog is about loving yourself. It’s about owning self-love, and learning how to be kind to yourself. And right now, it’s also about my journey into health. This journey includes changing my lifestyle. It might be in a way that you’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with. But that’s on me. This is my journey, too. I finally feel like I’m at a spot in my life where I love myself enough to allow myself to change.

For years I have been frozen, yo-yoing back and forth. I’ve talked to myself in negative ways. I’ve been at a place where I have cried because I couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t figure out what to do. I couldn’t figure out how to proceed. And usually, this is when I give up.

I’m not going to give up anymore. I’m trying things, and if they don’t work I’ll try something else.

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I have blood work that points to numbers I don’t like. I have clothes I don’t find flattering. I have aches where I don’t want aches. I want to feel strong and in control. There’s someone inside me wanting to come out. And I know sometimes that’s a trope, a misconception, that people are pissed off when another person thinks or implies that about a fat person. I know this, but this is how I feel. Part of me is buried, and I want her to come out. Maybe, really part of her is emerging right now and I am working on shaping her. It doesn’t matter, things are changing and that’s what I want you to know.

So this blog that’s about me and you and what I love and self-love is also about me and my journey and my health. It’s about me seeking to be who I am, who is buried inside me. It’s about me carving out my future. And by doing this I am helping you to figure out how to do this for yourself. I hope that makes sense. I hope I’m not speaking in huge sweeping promises, cheesy verses to pull you in.

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Basically, I have to start with me. And that’s what I’m doing. So please, don’t be turned off by body positive posts next to posts about my journey into health.

The importance in life is making it everything we want it to be. The importance is finding you and letting that version shine – if that’s what you want. The importance is connecting and feeling loved and loving yourself. The importance is knowing you are important. You are magical. You are loved. And bringing all of these concepts to life.

xo.

Melanie

travel

Do The Things : Pilgrim Monument

If I could give you one piece of advice, something I am trying to stick to as much as I can right now it is: do the things. Do everything you can. Make sure you aren’t allowing your life to feel stagnant. Don’t let time pass by without you knowing. Make those plans. Climb the m-f-ing monument. All 116 steps. Just do it.

So for a few years now I’ve been telling my friend that we need to go to Provincetown, MA (also known as P-Town, the tip of Cape Cod and where the Pilgrims landed before they settled in Plymouth). I’ve wanted to climb the Pilgrim Monument for so long, and I’ve been afraid because I am / was terribly out of shape. I’m slightly less out of shape right now, but I’m certainly not conditioned to climb a lot of stairs.

I wanted to wait until I was in better shape. I remember climbing a tower when I was in Italy, ten long years ago, and feeling miserable and kind of scared. I remember feeling claustrophobic as we climbed, somehow worried this tower couldn’t handle the weight of us all. The weight of me. Take a look at this building and then somehow equate how mixed up my mind hand to be for me to think it couldn’t hold me. I also think it might have been slightly swaying, but I can’t remember.

This year we finally set a date to drive the couple hours to P-Town. I took the stairs more at work (one measly flight) and I braced myself for our climb.

Before you go up the tower there’s a museum you can go through. One side had a lot of Provincetown art, and the other side was a historical account of the 17th Century. The tower was built to commemorate the Pilgrims landing in Provincetown. They are very proud of this fact. They will be sure to tell you the Pilgrims were there first, signing the Mayflower Compact before even setting foot on land. They left Provincetown because the sand was too difficult to grow crop in (but not before stealing some maize first).

The Pilgrim Monument is 252 feet tall. There are 116 steps and 60 ramps. The climb up wasn’t as bad as I expected, probably because of the ramps. Along the inside there are stone plaques mostly of Massachusetts towns and the years they were established. At the top you are enclosed with some windows and a couple view finders that you can slip a quarter in and see things closer up.

Have you ever been to Provincetown?

x. Melanie

books · story

Stories in Books: April 2017

I’m making it a point to read more. There are times when I forget how much I enjoy books. Times when I can’t be bothered to pick up pages, or finish books, or continue to listen to audio discs. I’ve started so many books this year and just let them be, mid-way through. Here are the stories I read from April of this year.

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Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

I had no idea about this novel until I decided to look up a few author’s names to see if they had anything coming out, and BAM here’s this beautiful novel about two sisters and their different experiences living with poverty and a mother who isn’t quite what the girls’ need. Years ago I was paired with Sara to do this author/ wannabe writer mentor program and we e-mailed back and forth for a few months. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of meeting her after a panel at the AWP Writer’s Conference in Seattle, WA.

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American Street by Ibi Zoboi

I decided to read more Own Voice novels this year and American Street was one of them. It was coming back in transit from another library when I took it and checked it out to myself. It chronicles a girl from Haiti who moves to America and lives with her aunt and cousins.

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

This was a reread for me, done via audiobook. Sarah Dessen’s new book comes out next month and I find that reading her novels brings me back to high school and into summer mode.

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Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block

Another re-read, this is one of the first Francesca Lia Block novels that I ever read, back when I was in high school. The short stories are short and sweet, varying in content. One of them  was the inspiration for a nickname between myself and an old online turned real life friend.

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Namaslay by Candace Moore

Yoga & Memoir combined, this book tells you Candace’s story while teaching you about the power of yoga. It also has tons of asanas and suggestions for your own practice.

What did you read in April?