As wild as 2020 has been, a few things have happened that feel like pieces of a puzzle falling perfectly into place. Friends are not the only things that have become an integral part to my identity. Fandoms are too. Almost every single year has brought a new obsession for me and, with each new obsession, has come another piece of the puzzle that is me. The most recent one is led by a Youtuber named Dangerous ASMR.
It seems like, in my life, I always become the thing I least expect to. In this case, I became a fan of ASMR Roleplays. But even more than just finding a talented Youtuber, I found an amazing human being. The Dangerous ASMR discord has been my home and obsession for the past 5 months and, in that time, I have grown so much as a person, and my friend circle has expanded beyond my wildest dreams. Truly, I never could've foreseen this. So much love, trust, openness, comfort, support and vulnerability…
It is a life and support network everyone deserves and I am so lucky to have found it. Everyone has been so kind and caring and I am honored to be a part of it. They have all inspired me to be a better person: kinder, gentler, softer, more emotional and open and affectionate. Not so walled off and invisible. And not only have I gained a plethora of new friends, but I've also reconnected with several old ones as well!
But even better than the self-improvement (and friends, new and old) is the story behind the fandom at all. In a true example of unknowable consequences, the whole channel started off on a whim. One simple post. And then it blew up. From that one first little video posted just for fun came an entire world. And so many lives have been saved or changed for the better because of it. If that doesn't speak to the power of the butterfly effect, or to the power of how small deeds can ripple out into the largest of consequences, then I don't know what will. No one could've ever foreseen this, but it is so real and so wonderful.
This is a living example of what I mean when I say that no deed is too small.
This is a living example of what I mean when I say that you, as an individual, matter more than you could ever know.
This is a living example of what I mean when I say that you, as an individual, can indeed change the world! (Or at least, a world).
This is a living example of throwing a tiny pebble into a lake and watching the ripples expand across the entire surface.
Who would've ever thought a life-saving fandom and a life-changing discord could've come from one simple little video? But here it is.
And that is my true goal in life. Not to become famous or influential, but for all my small deeds to ripple out across the universe itself and wind up making radical changes for the better. I may not matter to many, but to the few who are touched by me, you are exactly what I devote my life to. Dangerous has been an inspiration to me with her endless kindness, and if I could be even as half as good as her, I will be truly proud of myself. Her compassion, acceptance and understanding is what I admire most about her and what I strive to emulate. (She's also very charming and funny, which is another bonus!)
But the important thing is: You must put yourself out there first. That is why I write like this. Not for fame or attention. But to let my words spill out into the world so that others might see them. They are useless, locked up inside my head. In order for any good to be done, they must be seen by the world (even if "the world" is only a few people). So there's your motivation for courage. If you want to change the world, you must be seen. If you want to be seen, you must put yourself out there first. It's scary, but until you try, you'll never know.
And another lesson can be taken from this story. Anything can be used as a force for good. No matter how silly, unexpected or abnormal it seems, goodness and love can come from anywhere. All that matters is the passion in it and the way in which it is wielded. After all, Dangerous makes ASMR videos, and yet some of them have honestly saved lives. Who would've ever thought? And yet who could deny it? What an inspiration!
And I am just a lowly a fanfic writer, but I have still touched lives. Even if my stories weren't directly responsible, they led me to other authors and it was through those friendships that I was finally able to do some real good. But I do use my words to uplift and entertain. Even if it isn't the most normal or far-reaching platform, it's the hill from which I will shout my messages and those messages will positively impact those who hear them, because that is the legacy I want to create for myself, so create it I shall!
True, passion can only carry a person so far, but it is still an important piece of the puzzle. Dangerous' story is a perfect example of how doing something you love can wind up doing good beyond your wildest dreams. And she's made a successful job out of it, so that's another bonus!
This whole year has been one unknowable consequence after another, and all thanks to one woman who posted one video on a whim. It was the start of a chain reaction of unknowable consequences that would lead to this very story! Yes! The discord inspired me to be so much better than I used to be that it inspired the creation of this story! Just as they were a light to me, now I want to be that light for others, so here I am today. This fandom is full of the most diverse, talented, creative, accepting people ever. So many lives have been changed forever. If that isn't an inspiration to do what you love and realize that even the smallest of outcomes can do big things, then I don't know what is.
But even outside the real-life stuff, stories and characters have come to life that otherwise never would've existed. Magical worlds to rival books and movies in the public sphere have been brought to life thanks to everyone in this fandom. Even if they are only fictional tales and characters, they have taken up time, space, energy, attention and passion and they have shaped us just as we have shaped them. Hours of my life have been devoted to the stories she's created. They are just as real as the friends I've acquired (or reconnected with) along the way.
So not only has Dangerous created a real-life world of wonderful people and wonderful connections and friendships, but she has also created many fantasy worlds that, like their real-life counterparts, have rippled out into an endless cycle of mutual creativity. Again, it was the fandom that inspired this anthology! (And all of that, from one woman and one little action, one little video, a year and a half ago…)
Every action has an unknowable consequence, because that one consequence causes a spiderweb of other consequences. It ripples out, and from one little seed, an entire forest can bloom and grow.