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20 July 2008 @ 09:55 pm
Oh, why not, I have a story too  
All the cool kids are doing it, so I guess I'll tell my story as well! :P

I've been with Avatar since the first episode aired, way back in February '05. I was 17, and I was seriously ill. Nobody knew what was wrong with me. I had been sick for ten years, and it would still be another year before we got a correct diagnosis (Celiac Disease, if anybody is interested).

I was weak, exhausted, and in constant pain. I was missing so much school that it was ridiculous, and I was getting no sympathy from anyone, anywhere, except my dad, because they couldn't find anything wrong with me. I was therefore making it up. (I am seriously not that good an actress. :P)

So basically all I could handle doing was to lie on the couch watching TV. I have always been a fan of animation, so I kept the TV tuned to kid's networks. There really wasn't much worth watching, though. But I kept seeing these ads for a new Nicktoon. At first the ads were annoying, but then they grew on me, and I became very excited. I decided to tune in and watch the premiere. Within three minutes, I was hooked. Avatar was unlike anything else I had seen on TV.

So, over the next few weeks, I watched the next episodes. I still loved it. But sometime after Imprisoned, I lost track of it! It was like Avatar had disappeared off the face of my TV. Plus, I had loads and loads of schoolwork to complete if I didn't want to repeat my junior year. That took up all my time and energy. I caught a few more episodes, like Jet, but for the most part I was too busy and exhausted to waste time watching TV.

Finally, in summer of '06, I had just successfully graduated high school on time, despite all the setbacks. I had been diagnosed a few months before, but I was still too sick to be going to college in the fall, so I had literally nothing to do. All my friends were on their senior trips and I was still too weak to hang out with those that weren't. It was pretty lame. So I turned on the TV. I saw all these ads for something called, "The Fury of Aang." "Oh, Avatar," I thought to myself, "I loved that show! I wonder what's been going on with it?"

So I tuned into the Library and The Desert, and let me tell you, I was nearly completely lost. XD I had no idea what was going on. ("Who's the green kid?" I remember thinking very distinctly.) But dang. It was GOOD. I nearly cried at the end. I was re-hooked.

Thus ensued a mad dash to see all the episodes I had missed, in order. Hey, I had nothing better to do! By the time "Secret of the Fire Nation" came on, I was a full blown Avatard. I found the fandom before the S2 finale (which aired on my 19th birthday, actually), but I didn't really start participating until that first pang of AWS hit sometime in February '07. Although I was never really huge into the fandom, Avatar is the only fandom I have ever participated in at all. It's the only thing I've cared enough about to want to connect with other fans in that way. (It helped that I had nobody around locally to talk about Avatar with, until I converted a friend between seasons. :P)

My true labor of AWS is my Momo hat, which I have already posted about on Monday. But I have done other various fanarts, and I recently got into fanfic in the second, more recent bout of AWS. :P (Just as participating in fandom was something I never thought I'd do, so was writing fanfic. I have loved to write my entire life, but I used to loathe fanfic. Avatar changed that. Also I think Rawles had something to do with it. ;))

Anyway, Avatar didn't really change my life or anything, but it did give me something to think about and focus on while I was still pretty sick, and the fandom was a way for me to talk to people in that year when I was lonely and not in college. Avatar wasn't the only thing I had in that time, but it was a big thing, and I am a big fan. I am grateful I had it, because even though my life would have been pretty similar without it, I think it would have been a bit more empty and less awesome.

I realize my story is really kind of boring and not all that exciting, but it's mine and I felt the need to share it.

And nobody can really watch Avatar without it having a serious, solid impact on their life in some way. It's one of those stories that really means something.

Thank you, Mike and Bryan and everyone else. That is all.