this thing of mine

When I first started this blog, it’s purpose was to:

document my mindset as I struggled with changing perceptions about my celebrity crush and to help me come to terms with the uncertainties 

I think it’s served it’s purpose in that way but it’s also made me look more closely at my history of fangirling in general, the patterns of behavior I’ve exhibited through the years with various crushes, and the whys and hows of it all. I’ve been aware of the things that drew me to certain crushes and the role they were playing in my life at that time, but I never really explored the overall mechanics of why it worked for me, and what happened to me internally when I moved on from one crush to another. so in that way, this blog ended up encompassing more than just my Richard Armitage experience. it’s been interesting for me to delve into these things, and it’s brought up a lot of points that I will continue to ponder. because, although focusing on one crush only has it’s benefits, I know I will continue this hobby with actors other than Richard Armitage. but this introspection has taught me that I don’t have to leave one behind for another, that I don’t have to establish a hierarchy, that I can be as intense or as casual as I feel drawn to be.

Just a few weeks ago I talked about taking the casual route to fangirling, how I now find myself preferring to only know ‘just enough’ about a crush in order to maintain a healthy level for myself; only ‘so much & no more’ or things can get out of hand. I also said, just last week, that I will try picking & choosing what I like and leave the rest by the wayside. but in knowing myself like I do, I know there will be times when I crave the intensity, the days/weeks/months when I want to lose myself in the research of a new crush. and that’s okay too.

This thing of mine will continue because it works for me, even if I don’t fully understand how it does. from my prolonged admiration of Christian Bale, through the escapism of Robert Pattinson, to the intensity of Richard Armitage, and the casualness of Jamie Dornan; to every ‘crush’ there is a season. what matters right now is that, with the help of this blog, I’ve been able to sift through the bitterness I was displacing onto Richard for not being able to hold on to the intensity of this crush. and the confusion that brought about.

  • do I prefer intensity or ease? (it depends)
  • must it be either/or? (there are no rules)
  • is one better than the other? (‘better’ is subjective)
  • does it depend on the actor himself or is it what I’m craving at the time?(a mixture of both)
  • I haven’t been sparked in awhile, will it ever happen again? (yes. thank you, Dan Stevens!)

and that is a small sampling of how my brain refuses to just enjoy things and never shuts off! 

I’m sure I will continue to ponder these things, but the goal of working through the Richard Armitage aspect on this blog has been met. I’ve found it extremely helpful. I’m now at a place where I can enjoy him again, without all of that baggage in tow. there is a better balance of positives and negatives now, towards Richard, and this hobby of mine in general. I like to admire actors,

‘they give us those nice bright colors, they give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day’.

Thank you for reading! and here’s to many more days/weeks/months(years) of enjoyment in Richard ahead.

Yours in Armitage ❤

Kelly

Richard is

January 27, 2013- Richard is well-mannered, genuinely nice, a bit shy & reserved, but passionate about his acting. he’s all around lovely and he makes me smile a lot.

 

 

I wrote that to a friend at the very beginning of my crush on Richard Armitage. it still holds true for me, most days. I think I’ve always known that I wouldn’t be able to get back to those early ‘struck by lightening’ days of crushing on Richard, but part of me still held out hope that I could find my way back there. that’s why I started this blog, to get past the roadblocks that were keeping me from that place. along the way I’ve identified some of my issues and have been able to move past them. they’re not gone, but I’m aware of them now and can better navigate around them. the sun didn’t suddenly appear and light my way but I feel less confused, less pessimistic than I did before.

I’ve opened myself up to the concept of picking & choosing what I like and leaving the rest by the wayside. I’ve not really done that in fangirling before, not really. I’ve tried the ‘less I know the better’ route but it’s hard to reign in my natural curiosity. in the end, I always end up feeling like I need to like everything about the actor, or at least be able to convince myself that there was a good reason for the negatives that I couldn’t seem to ignore. when too many excuses pile up, I move on rather than admit to them. once I’m invested in a new crush, then I can be honest about the old ones, but not until then. Ewan McGregor’s confidence can be a turn off, Christian Bale’s intensity can be intimidating, Robert Pattinson’s youth works against him… I still follow the careers of past crushes and rejoice in their well being, I just don’t follow as closely as I once did. I no longer invest myself, because I no longer identify with them.

I find something in these actors that resonates with me, I see traits that we share in common, I live through them in various ways. this is why I hold them to such high standards because I see them as a different version of me, a better version. when they embody the worst of me, well, I don’t want to admit that we share those traits too. it’s like hearing my recorded voice played back to me or seeing myself in home movies. no, thanks! we would all rather see the best of ourselves on display. I’m not sure I can remove the identity issue from my fangirling but I want to give it less power. I want to be a fan of Richard Armitage, but I don’t want him to define me.

I’ll never be able to recapture those early days, and that’s okay. I’ve realized that the valleys are satisfying in their own ways, maybe not as intense as the highs, but longer lasting. this crush has certainly taught me more about myself than any of the others, and I like that. I want more of that. to thine own self be true.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

it’s complicated

July 5, 2016- I can’t seem to quit Richard. I guess I’ll label my fangirl status as ‘it’s complicated’ and just take what comes. you know, when I first heard his words describing love in that Audible interview, I felt bad for him. I thought, what kind of stressful relationships has this man been in to make him think of love in this way? but now I kind of get it. it does a good job describing the push & pull I’ve often felt this past year in regards to him.

 

I’ve stated previously that I’ve crushed on other actors before Richard Armitage. in most cases, my fangirl feelings started to slowly fade and ended up transferring onto another actor, without too many bumps along the way. Leonardo DiCaprio stepped aside for Ewan McGregor, who stepped aside for Christian Bale, who stepped aside for Robert Pattinson. after Rob though, I actually went looking for a different crush, it didn’t just happen. I was looking for something specific and I found that in Richard. before long, Jamie Dornan showed up and has been running parallel to Richard, but Richard deviated from the pattern because no one stepped aside for him; there was already a void that needing filling when I found him. I’m sure that has some bearing on why I’ve dug my heels in this time, why I’ve not transitioned from my crush on him into one entirely on someone else. I don’t understand the ‘why’ of it yet, though.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

some are assuming I’m going to leave Richard behind

July 29, 2015- I know some are assuming I’m going to leave Richard behind and chase Jamie Dornan instead, but I’m not going to throw myself into another obsession like that (fandom, blog, etc.) I just don’t have the energy!

 

Being part of a fandom does take energy, whether you’re creating and posting or following and commenting, but the interaction can be beneficial. it can also be tiring at times, frustrating, a responsibility that I don’t always want to deal with. especially if I lose track of Richard in the process. that may sound odd, how can Richard get lost within his own fandom? it literally revolves around him! but sometimes it becomes more about fan interaction than the object of our affection. that’s not always a bad thing, many fans say that’s a plus for them, they came here for Richard but stay for the fans. it’s a heartwarming thought but it’s not true for me. I enjoy the fans, but I need Richard; he’s why I’m here.

I’ve been involved in three different fandoms in my time online as a fangirl. each experience has been unique, but not, at the same time. overall there have been more pros than cons, but there’s something they’ve all shared: ‘curiosity killed the cat’; the more I know about the crush, the higher my expectations rise. my quest to acquire insight into what makes them tick and how that influences their acting, creating a depth that continually draws me to them, can sometimes backfire into raising my expectations to unattainable levels; my pedestals are high. so with Jamie Dornan, I decided to adjust my approach. I switched from ‘all’ to ‘just enough’ instead. know just enough about him to draw me in, just enough to keep me interested, just enough to touch me in a meaningful way.

I’m not part of the Jamie Dornan fandom. I follow a few fan accounts on Twitter but no blogs, forums, or fan groups. my interaction with the fandom is zero. the Twitter accounts keep me updated on current happenings, but I mostly follow them for the random pictures and quotes that they post. this way, I never lose track of Jamie, or myself. this has carried over into my side interests as well, those ‘for the moment’ actors that I’m curious about and follow for awhile. I feel an even less need to know about their personal lives/background than I did before. a quick run down of their career and a general feel for their off screen personality is usually all it takes to satisfy me these days. I’m done with the extensive biographies, the unabridged list of interviews and appearances, the clothing portfolios. I like not knowing. I like being surprised.

I’m not joining another fandom, I like this one. I’m not trading Richard Armitage for Jamie Dornan, I can keep them both. my need for absolutes is changing. I’m giving myself permission to just like what I like. it sounds simple, but for me, it’s a big step.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly

he doesn’t need my protection

February 17, 2014- admittedly I am protective of Richard, it’s just in my nature and I don’t want to ignore that part of me. he doesn’t need my protection but *I* need to protect him.

Richard Armitage doesn’t need my protection. he doesn’t need me to defend him when others say negative things about him. he doesn’t need me to give background about why he may do or say the things that he does. he doesn’t need it but I need it. at least, I used to. I didn’t want people who didn’t ‘know’ him as well as I did to misunderstand, to judge him unfairly, whether that be in regards to his acting career or his off screen personality. I thought I was setting the record straight. after awhile I realized that the type of negative comments that seemed to be setting me off had to do with my own insecurities, things that I felt Richard and I had in common. makes sense. once I came to terms with that, it became easier to let those types of criticisms slide. but that knee-jerk feeling to defend didn’t go away completely, it was still there, I just chose not to act upon it. then came a slightly different realization: it wasn’t about him (not really), and it wasn’t about me (per se), it was really about fangirling.

for example, in the ‘protection’ scuffles I’ve sometimes found myself in when fangirling, there are generally two sides: those who want to protect the actor from objectification, and those who want to protect their right to objectify. side number one wants to justify their actions by stressing that it’s about the story, the acting, the social themes, etc. it’s not because of the attraction to the actor, it’s so much more than that. side number two wants to admire the natural physical form of the actor, drown in his charisma, revel in his virtual pheromones. when either side starts insulting the other, forcing them to conform, that’s when drama ensues. if I remove all the specifics of these incidents, I realize it’s about justifying the act of fangirling itself; defending why it should be acceptable to do the things that I do in regards to the ‘object of my affection’. what I’m really saying is: I’m not silly or adolescent for giving this such a big space in my life. I’m a grown up and this is a grown up thing. but no matter how I choose to justify it, it’s never going to be true until I believe it myself.

recently RA fandom friend, Guylty, made me a nifty zippered bag from custom designed fabric in exchange for a trade she and I had agreed upon. it was sitting on the coffee table yesterday evening when my husband randomly asked “what’s gnothi seauton mean?” I answered, “it’s Greek. it means know thy self“. he scrunched his brows together for a moment and then said, “oh. I thought it might be Irish, since your friend is from Ireland.” at this point I could have played it off, but why? he knows all about my Richard Armitage fascination, though he often scoffs at it. he knows the bag was made by a RA fandom friend. if I want to be taken seriously, like a grown up, then I need to quit acting like a child who was caught with her hand in the cookie jar. so I answered, “it’s from MI-5. Lucas North had it as a tattoo.” I see the scoff coming but before it does I explain, “they’re all fan symbols. the key is for Thorin, the scorpion for the Strike Back guy. they’re all related to characters.” husband’s head tilts to the side. I proudly continue,” she designed the fabric herself, and sent it away to be printed.” he gives the bag a closer look and then remarks “huh. that’s kind of cool.” yeah, it really is.

Yours in Armitage,

Kelly