I certainly have a soft spot for kissing boys - and this art makes me so happy! <3 Thanks, Amanda!
The Other Side of Fear (40141 words) by gluedwithgold
Fandom: Supernatural RPF
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jensen Ackles/Jared Padalecki
Characters: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Christian Kane, Chad Michael Murray, Danneel Harris, Genevieve Cortese
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - College/University, Alternate Universe, Photographer Jensen, Writer Jared, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Homophobia, Coming of Age, First Time, First Time Blow Jobs, Love, Falling In Love, Boys In Love, Kissing, Frottage, Blow Jobs, Shower Sex, Schmoop, Punk Jared, Punk Jensen, Tattoos, Piercings
Jared has been waiting for years to get away from Texas so he can finally be who he really is. Jensen has been looking forward to finishing college and moving on with his life. When they wind up living together in the same dorm, they find out there's a much better way to live.
I managed to catch a case of insomnia this past week, and by Friday night I was exhausted. I went to bed early knowing my brain was in no condition to function and put together coherent thoughts, but...guess what? Still couldn't sleep. I was up until 3 a.m. Thinking about writing. This one story idea I have just latched onto my brain and would not let go. If I had a brain recorder, that I could then download and convert into text? The damn story would be 3/4 finished by now.
I did end up getting about 5 hours of sleep, and though not totally rested, I decided to go ahead with the plan and write my weekend away. I schlepped myself out of bed and got dressed, went out to get some groceries (writers need nourishment!) then headed back home.
And then. There. On my doorstep. A package.
I was confused - I hadn't ordered anything, wasn't expecting anything but bills and junk mail.
I picked it up and looked at the return address - MY FRIENDS SENT ME A PACKAGE! WOOHOO!!
Seeing as they'd just been to Minn Con the previous weekend, I expected they'd picked up some cool SPN schwag for me - because they are awesome like that! So I began tearing at the envelope (enormous, padded envelope, stuffed full). Hacked at it with scissors, got frustrated as hell and started cursing - until I noticed the pull-tab on the side. I ripped it open and pull out... another damn padded envelope! But this one was easier to open, and soon I was sliding the contents out. There was a card, addressed to me with much love from Sammie and Amanda (heart-eyes - of course - I love those two so much!). I turned over the object in my hand... identify it as a picture frame... I look at the photo in it... Jared Padalecki! (more heart-eyes!) But then... what's that? Is that? NO! It can't be! OH MY GOD WHAT DID THEY DO????
THE FUCKING PHOTO IS SIGNED BY JARED PADALECKI!!!!!!!!!
My eyes immediately start tearing up, and my hands start shaking. My wonderful, beautiful, amazing friends got an autograph for me! I tear into the card - which turns out to be a beautiful artwork by dephigravity from a fic I adore - and read all about how they missed me and wanted me to be at the con with them, they had an extra autograph from a package they'd bought and decided they needed to give it to me! There was also the story of the autograph itself - including sweetness, smiles and gummy bears (heart-eyes!) and a mention of the back of the frame (which I'd not noticed yet) - I turned the frame over and there were more messages from my friends on the back of the photo. By the time I finished reading everything, I'm literally crying. This package was filled with so much love and friendship it just blew me away!
You see, I am not "one of the popular kids" - I'm socially anxious and shy, which makes me pretty awkward, I tend to be very introverted as well as pretty closed off. I just don't connect with people. I don't create the bonds with other folks that make them miss me or think about me when I'm not around. So, even though I'm nearly 44 years old, this is the first time anyone has ever done something so meaningful for me. I connect with these two women on a deeper level than I have with anyone I've considered a friend before - the only comparable person in my life is my sister. It's fucking amazing.
So why am I blathering on about this on the internet? Because this is a perfect example of the power of the SPN Family, of fandom. People say you can't really make friends on the internet, that it's not real. Well, they're wrong. Through the internet, through the SPN Family, I have met true, absolutely amazing friends. I love them with my whole heart. They bring me joy every day, I am a better person for having them in my life, I like myself (dare I say - love myself?) more because of them. They give me inspiration, comfort, laughter, and always, always love.
So, thank you, dancing_adrift and non_tiembo_mala. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being amazing, wonderful, creative, funny, patient and kind. Thank you for loving me. I love you back a thousandfold. <3
So, needless to say, I didn't get much writing done this weekend - I was too busy squeeing and basking in the love of my friends. Although I am getting some words down tonight. Really! I am! I swear!
Top Left: Amanda and Sam; Bottom Left: Autographed photo of Jared Padalecki;
Top Right: card with artwork of Jared by dephigravity for dugindeep (hotsauce)'s Refracted
Last night I went to a concert with my sister. We arrived very early and got very close to the stage - fourth row, nearly center. I've been to concerts before - the last I went to was ten years ago, and the only way I was able to do it was to stick to the outskirts with a clear, quick escape route. But not last night - last night we were right in the thick of it. And I did experience anxiety and panic. The volume that close to the stage was epic - I could feel the ground shaking beneath my feet, the flesh on my arms shuddering with the beat, and the thumping of the bass heavily pounded in my chest. I was unprepared for that much of a physical experience, and it scared me. But I pushed through it, and by the end of the show, I enjoyed it.
The lead singer came out into the crowd during one of the encore songs, and there was a push of the crowd (he was close - my sister got knocked in the head with the microphone cord) - I knew ahead of time that this would happen, it happens at every one of their shows, and I knew I would be in the middle of it. I panicked anyway. But I also dealt with it. I fought down the thoughts that would have blown the situation out of proportion in my head - the thoughts of "what if I get separated from my sister?" "what if I get pushed down and trampled?" "what if I have a panic attack?" - I made it through, and even though I have no memory of that particular song of the show, that's okay. I made it.
As we sat in the car waiting for traffic to clear enough to be able to back out of our parking space, I was enveloped with an overwhelming sense of pride. I was exhausted, sore, and anxiety-ridden, but so fucking proud of myself for doing it. For fighting that which, not that long ago, would have kept me from going and having a good time, enjoying the music, the energy of the crowd and the company of my sister, of making memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I didn't miss out.
The National at MassMoCA - June 11, 2016
I got home late, fell into bed exhausted and slept peacefully and happily. I woke up, still tired and sore, still feeling full of pride at my accomplishment, of how far I've come in my fight. When I went online and started seeing the news, my high deflated. I found there had been yet another shooting, 50 people dead and 53 injured at a club in Orlando.
I started thinking about why something like this would affect me so strongly. I don't watch the news - I gather a meager understanding of what's going on in the world through headlines on the internet, but I can't stomach anything more. I get anxious and depressed when things like this happen, and I can't wrap my head around how things like this can happen. So I escape into writing, reading, fandom, television and music. I ignore the horrible things that go on in the world because it's too much for me to handle. And that's why the news of this shooting knocked me down off my high of accomplishment. I can handle a concert, but I can't handle the world at large. I can function in my own little, sheltered environment, but I can't open myself up to the greater circle of society. I can't find the strength to join in the fight against these terrible things, even though I fully believe in fighting hate with love, and the more love is put out into the world the stronger and more effective it gets. It's not that I think I will never be able to put myself out there. I know I'm still working on it - last night is evidence of that. I just still have a ways to go before I get to the point where I can fight the panic and fear it brings up in me.
And that brought me to wondering why I choose writing as an escape. I realized that even though writing is a solitary process, that I can shutter myself away with my fingers on the keyboard and not be affected by the things that scare me, it still creates an avenue for me to participate in the society that I'm afraid of. Through telling stories I can put the love that I have, that energy, out into the world. It's my way of fighting. Right now it's what I can do while still caring for myself - and I'm okay with that. Right now, it's enough.
My heart goes out to those affected by this awful, hateful act. I send my love to help in the fight against hate. My words will be flowing as much as possible.