I discovered the word enthusiasm through the book Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman. I innocently picked it up at my school library for a book to read and instantly found a book that described who I am.
I’m an enthusiast. I get excited over things and tend to find everything about them fascinating, almost to a point where people think I’m obsessed. But it’s not obsession, it’s a profound love for what I’ve discovered.
There’s nothing wrong with it. Being an enthusiast is natural. It’s not fangirling like people assume it is. If it was then I’d have millions of actor and band names tattooed across my chest and have bed sheets with Harry Styles’ face on them. But I don’t. I have respect for the people that I am enthused by and bring them up in conversation and buy their music and watch their movies. It’s so different from fangirling but people don’t realize that.
As I said in the title, this is in defense of enthusiasm. People don’t understand that it is it’s own culture in a way. It’s more than nodding your head to a song and it’s less than fainting when they are in the same state as you. It’s an appreciation for everything they do and an encouragement for them to do more.
I guess the best way for me to explain it is to give you my experience on enthusiasm in the last year. Starting with last September.
In September I discovered the the YouTube twins, Jack and Finn Harries, who make up the channel JacksGap. It’s not news that my type is brunette and British, so you know I was very much into the twins. I watched all their videos, followed them on Twitter, and seriously considered buying myself a shirt. But the thing about enthusiasm is that it’s not a forever thing and you move on. I still adore the twins and do all the things I did back in September, but there’s other things I like too.
Then we move onto One Direction. It’s not going to surprise you that I like them as they’ve somehow ended up to become regulars in my discussions about life. And my enthusiasm grew as time went on, a full four or five months, as other people I knew were enthusiastic about them. Not fangirls, we just really enjoy Zayn, Liam, Harry, Niall, and Louis. We got excited and made plans to find them in Seattle, to buy their CDs and watch their concert DVD and make parties to watch award shows because they were performing. But enthusiasm moves on as soon as you find something else, and while I once would have been dying in my seat if someone had mentioned One Direction 900 miles from me, I’m now only squirming until they’re about 10 feet away. But that’s because I found something else to be enthusiastic about.
For a while, only a week or two, I was really into Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. It’s always been one of my favorite movies and the book is amazing! So of course I had to bring up the book whenever I was around people and talk about the movie and I’m sure it got kind of annoying, but my personality makes it kind of something I do. And if you can’t accept that, you can’t accept me. I am my enthusiasm, through and through. But of course, after talking about Frank, I had to move onto another enthusiasm.
5 Seconds of Summer. Not British, they’re Australian. But I still like them. When you become enthusiastic about something, it’s all about getting to know it better to a point where you are like a local. It’s like living somewhere for six months and seeming like it’s been six years. I can tell you things about 5 Seconds of Summer, trust me, I can, but it’s not to a point where I’m sitting around spouting facts about Michael Clifford’s hair. Because no one cares, and probably Michael doesn’t either. But I listen to their music and watch their Keeks, think Ashton is adorable, think Luke and Calum are hilarious together, and seriously consider buying myself a shirt. Because I appreciate them and hope they continue to make music because I enjoy it.
So yeah, that’s enthusiasm for you. It’s not fangirling. I actually DID a post on fangirling months ago, as a joke, and you’ll realize it’s completely different from that. I am not one of those screaming fans at concerts who throws her bra on stage for attention. I’m the girl sitting in back bobbing her head, singing the words, enjoying the experience of at least breathing the same air as the people I look up to. (For proof, I went to go see Bruno Mars and Ellie Goulding and not once did I scream manically).
If you are an enthusiast, I hope I’ve given you something to show your friends when they give you a hard time. If you’re not, I hope you can now distinguish the difference between enthusiasts and the crazy people that are hardcore fangirls. There’s a difference and I hate to be called the wrong one (although I do have fangirl moments occasionally).
Thank you for reading! I really appreciate it, no joke. You are all the best readers ever and knowing that you’re here is the best. Don’t forget that (I will be posting a link here) tomorrow I am doing my weekly YouNow at 2pm Pacific Time. I’m already queuing your questions and they’re quite interesting this round! I also found out who my roommate for school is and I’m really excited!
Stay classy Internet,
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