Life, Wanderers, can have its ups and downs. Sometimes, the downs just seem to keep coming, building up until the whole world is just a series of crashing, thunderous things you have to deal with. And when that happens, it’s always nice to have a backup world to escape into. Ladies, gentlemen, and those of non-binary genders, it will come as no surprise to you to learn that I am talking, as ever, about fandom. Really, I should stop trying to be mysterious and impressive at the start of these articles, we all know where I’m going with this.
Anyway, so, fandom can be a great thing to escape into when ‘real life’ is getting too much. You might be swamped with work, angry with friends and under tons of pressure at home, but for the minutes between the opening credits of your favourite show and the credits at the end of the episode (or the end of four episodes later… or the end of the series…), you can enjoy a universe where you don’t have to do a darn thing, and nobody expects anything of you. The same is true of reading a book (although you do have to turn pages) or however else you want to enjoy a fandom. The exception, possibly, is games, because you do have to do a darn thing, but at least there aren’t any devastating consequences if you don’t do the thing right. Plus, you might like the kind of game where you can vent all that stress on enemies (take that, Bowser!) and that’s great too.
Where was I before I got off-topic? Ah, yes. Fandom, or at least the canon part of your fandom, demands very little of you, and it’s a familiar place to relax. Even if it puts you in mind, briefly, of the fanfiction you really ought to update, you can shrug that off. You’re doing research. Obviously. At any rate, the key point I’m trying to make here is that the canon of your favourite fandom can be soothing and comforting when everything else is stressful.
Of course, the title of this article is a reference to the saying ‘any port in a storm’, and it does refer to, perhaps, a slightly non-ideal place to shelter and rest. As anyone who’s watched an episode of Supernatural that begins with the familiar notes of ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ knows, your fandom’s canon can often be heartbreaking or otherwise unsettling. My personal comfort-fandom of choice in recent months has been a well-known podcast which is usually fairly safe in its returning everything to (relatively) normal, at the end of episodes. I need that in my life, sometimes. Last episode, however, everything was not OK and the whole episode was unsettling. I loved it, but I didn’t feel as relaxed as I usually would, afterwards.
Fortunately, when this happens, you can turn to another fandom. Or read some fanfic. There’s always some fluffy fanfic to be found somewhere. It may not be the perfect respite, but as a short break from the storms of the word… fandom’s not a bad place to dock for a bit.
Eleanor Musgrove (is a stressed little bunny right now)