I discovered Supernatural on Christmas Day 2009, and, yes, it changed my life forever.
Of course, in the very first instance it was the J's drop-dead gorgeous looks that drew me in (yes, shallow, I know), but as I began to feverishly catch up on all the seasons I'd missed, I began to realise the sheer depth of these characters and the intricate and tumultuous story behind them.
I'm not a huge TV watcher, but there have been shows before that I've watched and really enjoyed, such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Star Trek TNG and many British comedies, but I never once felt the urge to write fanfiction or make fan art about them (I didn't even know such a thing existed for a very long time), and I still don't. I'm simply content just to sit and watch and enjoy them. Something about Supernatural affected me differently; maybe it's because I discovered Supernatural at a time when I was exceptionally emotional, working through the most raw and overwhelming period of grief I've ever experienced after losing my lovely Grandad that autumn; maybe it's the wonderful way the cast and crew value and interact with the fans; maybe it is simply that J, J & M are such beautiful people inside and out; whatever it is, I still haven't quite put my finger on what it is!
But, as fabulous as our little show is, the thing that changed my life was discovering and entering the Supernatural fandom in May 2010. It's not that I was lonely or isolated before I discovered Supernatural; far from it. I had a great network of friends, but the additional friendships and experiences that have opened up to me are mind-boggling. I count people from all over the world as friends now; people I would never had met under other circumstances, many of whom have made the transition from on-line to real life friends. And the best thing is, these are people that share my inner nerdery, which is the one facet of my personality that I was never really able to share with most of my 'pre-Supernatural' friends.
The fandom also gave me the opportunity to rediscover a love of creative writing, a hobby I'd long since given up on for lack of inspiration and lack of a readership. It also gave me the opportunity and purpose to teach myself how to do digital art (something I'd never even thought about before), and the confidence to attempt drawing people again; something I hadn't done much of since school because I never really felt I was much good at it. Having the actors at cons tell me how much they like their portraits and how flattered they are, has made my confidence soar.
One thing I have said several times before, and that currently still stands, is that Supernatural is my first and only fandom and I think it will probably be my last. I feel like I have truly hit the motherlode on the first try, and I don't believe I could ever be lucky enough to repeat that experience. Any other fandoms would probably feel like a pale imitation of what I have right now. The Supernatural fandom will eventually dwindle after the show is no more, but I will be there until the bitter end!
But mostly, Supernatural will always be special to me because of the friendships I've made. Very precious and amazing friendships, and to those people I'll just apologise profusely now - because I'm afraid you're saddled with me for life!