The Divergent Fangirl

October 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Divergent. It’s more than just a B-list Young Adult series. It’s a way of being.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the test where they give a paperclip to a kindergartener and an adult. When you ask the kindergartener how many different things you can do with the paperclip, they can generate hundreds of answers. When you ask the adult, they struggle to think of more than 5.

At some point in our educational history we rolled over and just started accepting what we were taught. We flipped to the back of the book for the answer rather than generating our own solutions. And when it comes to fangirling, many of us treat it the same way.

So let’s have a test, shall we? Suppose I hand you this screencap.

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What do you do with a screencap? Maybe you reblog it, or maybe you make it your desktop background. Maybe you cry about it. That’s what you do with it right? Right?

What if I saw this screencap as a visual metaphor for me being torn between the negative and the BAMFy voice inside my head? I might list my negative thoughts and counter them with positive ones.

Or maybe I see a woman who’s put together and I pick my clothes out for work tomorrow, so I’m not rapidly hobo-garbing myself when I run out the door. CBS might own the rights to the cap, but I own the rights to my imagination and what it can do for me.

If we could transport our brains back to our kindergarten level of curiosity, and see a television episode or a BAMF quote or a gif like true divergent thinkers, like true divergent fangirls, there is literally no end to the possibilities.

This week I want to encourage you to be creative. Make  your fangirl creys work for you. Sit down, pen to paper, and generate crazy, creative methods to connect your fangirl passions to your dreams.

To learn more about divergent thinking, you can listen to creativity expert Ken Robinson’s TED talk on divergent thinking.

Tougher than Fiction: Why Habits Are Hard to Break

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today I asked some of you on twitter to tell me what some of your worst fangirl habits were. Here are some of the responses:

  • Watching TV instead of doing my work. 
  • Daydreaming about my OTP when out with friends. Also excusing myself early to be back online. 
  • Compulsively reloading tumblr and tracked tags I know damn well have no new content. 
  • Letting post TV hangovers affect my work life the next day. 

If this sounds like you, you’re nbeat youot alone! The fangirl brain, or any brain, loves to conserve energy. So if we do anything over and over again, that action will eventually shift to autopilot. Our behaviors tag along behind where we choose to place our attention, so it’s no wonder that we get stuck. What hope is there for us to ever any of our personal goals or change our daily habits?

As fangirls, we see transformation happen over and over again in our favorite TV shows, books, and movies.  A villain is confronted with the error of his ways, and he starts leading a better life.  An addict hits rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up.  Half of an OTP realizes she’s been shutting people out her entire life and finally reaches for love. Change is romantic, sudden, and powerful, isn’t it?

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Wrong! In real life, change is slow, small, and often a struggle. So if you think staring at a BAMF screencap, reading an inspirational quote, or guilting yourself into a different behavior is enough to do the heavy lifting, think again.

Learning new behaviors takes practice.  Just like writing really good smutfic takes time, patience, and poor vocabulary choices. So if you want to start living a different kind of life, here are a few tips for you. Luckily the fangirl already has most of these skills at her disposal!

Step 1. Reroute those neurons. Think about the change you want to make. Write it down in a journal. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it in your sock drawer. Write it on a screencap of Lana Parrilla and save it on your desktop. Tell yourself what’s going to happen. For example, “When I feel like not going to bed on time, I’m going to turn off my computer.” Say it again. Say it in the mirror. Text it to a friend. Write a letter to your grandma for godsakes, who doesn’t love mail?

Step 2. Headcitswinningtimeanon that shit. Imagine how you’re going to do this. Think about all the crap that’s going to stand in your way and how you’re going to fly over those hurdles like a motherfucking BAMF and how wonderful it’s going to feel. Visualizing yourself bobbing and weaving around the temptations of life is powerful.

Step 3. Simulate creys. Put yourself in situations (safe ones!) where you need to enact the behavior. Go through the motions, and pay attention to how it makes you feel. Keep practicing, and keep repeating steps 1 and 2.

To try this out, I suggest you pick a small change, like not checking your tumblr activity compulsively or making your bed every day. Remember, character transformation may be more romantic in fiction, but it’s way BAMFier in the real world. So have at it, lady.

 

 

SCIENCE!

August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

We interrupt your regularly scheduled creys to bring you some fangirl science. 

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Why mess with perfection, am I right? And for the psych folks. . .

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Hairporn and subtext can power an armada of ships. Whereas angsty yelling is a more coveted but rarer vessel. 

Not as fun as Comic-Con

August 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today I’m working one of my many day jobs, covering the American Psychological Association’s annual conference as a reporter.

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Sadly there are no sessions on the psychology of fangirling! One day, guys. One day.

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