Exactly 20 years ago, I was 14 years old and halfway through my freshman year of high school. It wasn’t a great time for me. Junior high had been pretty terrible, and I didn’t recognize at the time that much of it had to do with my first severe bout of depression, triggered by my changing hormones. I also had a hard time grasping social and interpersonal behavior, so I often misinterpreted the behavior of others, and hadn’t figured out the right way to act myself. To others, this comes off as being overly sensitive, shy, awkward, cold, and sometimes, a jerk. That isn’t to say I didn’t have friends, but I felt very lonely most of the time. My home life was filled with a lot of movies, music, video games, and of course, television.
Ever since I was young I had been fascinated by all things dark and scary. The fact that this blog exists is a testament to that. I loved scary books, ghost stories, the supernatural, magic, folklore, monsters, horror films-- anything that plumbed the strange and unknown depths. But I didn’t talk about these things with most people, because I felt so weird. I assumed no one else I knew would understand, or maybe, even be just like me.
On March 10, 1997 something significant happened. I saw the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I found one of the most important homes I would find during my life. It was intelligent, well-written, funny, scary, and embraced the weird. The main character was a girl struggling to have a normal life, when she was anything but normal. Her friends were nerds. Her mentor was a librarian. To say this had an impact on me would be an understatement. It was a meteor crashing into my world.
I’ve written about how important Buffy is to me before, but given this big anniversary I will risk being a little redundant. It’s worth repeating. It’s worth saying again.
"Thank you everyone that was involved in that show. You gave me somewhere to belong when I needed it the most, helped me learn more about myself than almost anything else in my life, and planted seeds within me that have made me who I am today. It's silly and amazing and crazy, but it means more than you'll ever know."
Thank you for saving the world a lot. Mine especially.