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How Supernatural Changed My Life- An Introduction
Fanart made by me.
Sam: Maybe it's time to have a little faith, Dean.
Dean: You know what I've got faith in? Reality. Knowing what's really going on.
Sam: How can you be a skeptic? With the things we see everyday?
Dean: Exactly. We see them, we know they’re real.
Sam: But if you know evil's out there, how can you not believe good's out there, too?
Dean: Because I've seen what evil does to good people.— — Supernatural Season 1 Episode 12 “Faith”
Everyone has one of those moments. The type that sneak up, totally unexpected, and blindside you. For some people it might be a career change, it might be giving into your passion for art, or finding a person to settle down with. It might be adopting a dog, tasting the perfect cup of coffee, reading the right book- but whatever it is, it grabs hold of you and says “this, this is something you’re going to be passionate about. This is going to change your life.”
I had one of those moments in my life a couple years back, and while I am still what you might call a “work in progress”, I know, without a doubt, it changed me for the better.
I was just starting my freshman year of college when I first heard about Supernatural. Season 4 had just premiered, and I got a call from one of my best friends telling me that they were introducing angels into this TV show, and knowing my love of mythology and lore, she figured I would be interested. We watched the second episode of Season 4, and I promptly went back and watched all of seasons 1 through 3, “binge watching” it all before Netflix was really a thing. I fell in love with these characters, with their depth and their spirit, their refusal to accept their fate and their willingness to fight for what they believed in.
I remember watching episode 12 of season 1, “Faith”. I remember listening to Sam’s unwavering hope, his need to believe something good existed in the world, and realizing that holy crap, this little show about hot guys and monsters was so much more than all that. This show had tapped into something big, a potential to put a magnifying glass over the human condition and really look at it. Themes of family, loyalty, and friendship weave their way through even the humble beginnings of the show, but for me there is one overriding theme that ties it all together: Faith.
Not necessarily faith in God, though that is definitely explored in the show, but faith as a conduit for hope and a reason for motivation. Sam’s hope in 1x12 was a type of faith in the universe, a faith in the idea of good existing in the face of evil. This type of faith that I found in this show is the type the brothers have in themselves, in their found family we see in Bobby, Castiel, and many others along the way. Faith that, when all is said and done, it’s better to fight with those you love than to just accept what the world deals out to you.
So I happily watched my show, all the way up through the first half of Season 10.
And that, my friends, is right about when I discovered the social media side of Fandom.
Funnily enough, it was through Doctor Who that I entered the world of Instagram posted photo edits, Tumblr theorizing, and Twitter feuds. I heard the term SuperWhoLock and went to investigate and that was all she wrote. Head canons, parallels between episodes and characters, meta theories, and yes, fanfiction- my world got exponentially larger in a matter of months. I wasn’t alone in thinking about this show on a much deeper level, I wasn’t the only one who watched Jensen’s micro expressions as Dean and thought about all the different layers to the character, or noticed Jared’s deep personal connection to Sam’s struggles, and Misha’s own quirky and unique personality feeding into making his character, an angel for crying out loud, come to life in such a relatable way. I fell in love with the actors behind the characters, I learned about their kind hearts and charities, and in doing so I changed.
This show, which had already made me reexamine my life, has people behind it that made me want to strive to be a better person.
Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Jared Padalecki
So here I sit, halfway through Season 13, and I still enjoy this show. I still enjoy how it makes me think about things, how it draws me in to the story it’s telling through these characters. When I decided to start watching this show in 2008, I didn’t realize how much it would change me as a person, it was “just a TV show” after all. I am a two time Gishwhes team captain now, and that fact alone has the old me gaping in awe of the changes I’ve made in my life. I’m writing, which was something I had given up on years before this. I’m happy with my life, and myself; not a lot of people can say that.
There are people in this world who are alive right now because of this show. There are people traveling halfway around the world to build a high school because of this show. There are so many people who found their true identity, and are proud to come out and tell the world “this is me” because of this show. Supernatural, and by extension everyone involved in the show, from Jared, Jensen, and Misha, down to the guy making the coffee in the food tent, has changed the lives of so many people, and it’s something I’m proud to be a part of.
So, thank you to the actors, the crew, and most importantly to the fans who became my friends. Thank you for making me feel like a part of something important, and for giving me the courage to pursue being me.
Layla: You wanna hear something weird? I'm okay. Really. I guess if you're gonna have faith... you can't just have it when the miracles happen. You have to have it when they don't.
Dean: So what now?
Layla: God works in mysterious ways... Goodbye Dean.
Dean: Well... I'm not much of the praying type... but... I'm gonna pray for you.
Layla: Well... There's a miracle right there.— — Supernatural Season 1 Episode 12 “Faith”
© 2018 Jessica Johnson