Six Years and Counting: Let’s Share Some Love!

Today, NGN turns six years old, and I’m struck by how much things can change in six years—but also by how the really important stuff stays the same.

Six years ago, when I sat down to write my first post, I had no idea what was in store for this little hot pink blog. All I knew was that I had things I wanted to say; I had a part of myself—a nerdy, passionate, emotional, enthusiastic part of myself—that I needed to share with the world after hiding her away for a long time.

There are a lot of things I never could have imagined about the highs and lows of the last six years—the friends I’d meet, the shows and movies I’d write about, the sleepless nights spent trying to plan the perfect post, the conventions I’d go to, the tears I’d shed when the words wouldn’t come, the actors and creators I’d be so blessed to interact with, the things I’d share about myself—but the most surprising thing of all is that people actually wanted to read what that nerdy, passionate, emotional, enthusiastic person had to say. And people still want to after six years. There is nothing more humbling to me than that.

This has been a year of balancing in my life. It’s been a year of trying to find a happy medium between my developing professional life, my own personal wants and needs, and my passion for running this website. And sometimes, that’s meant setting NGN aside and focusing on things like staying on schedule at work and getting a healthy amount of sleep. It’s meant fewer posts, but I truly believe the posts I’ve written this year have gotten back to the true reason I started this website. I wrote them not out of a sense of obligation, fear of letting people down, or desire to please others (all of which naturally happen sometimes in the course of six years as a writer). Instead, I wrote them because I had things I wanted to say, and I wanted to share those things with my fangirl family.

I still find myself in awe of the family I’ve created here, and I am so thankful to all of you who have visited NGN during the last six years—from the ones who just stopped by to read one post to the ones who form the backbone of my support system and have been there for me through it all. So many things can change in six years, and so many things have both with NGN and with my life in general. But one thing that has stayed the same is the overwhelming gratitude I feel that so many incredible people have taken the time to read the ramblings of a nerdy girl and have reached out to let that nerdy girl know she’s not alone. I’m grateful for every comment, tweet, Tumblr reblog, and like, and I’m honored to have so many brilliant, funny, and kind people as part of the NGN Family. I don’t know what I did to deserve not only your readership for the past six years, but also your support and friendship, but I hope all of you know that this thing couldn’t work at all—and certainly couldn’t keep working for six years and counting—without you.

With all that being said, I want to bring back a little something that we used to do around Christmas here at NGN. That’s right—it’s time for a LOVE POST!

Here are the basic instructions as I remember them from my old LiveJournal days: Make a comment on this post with your username (and things like your Twitter or your Tumblr URL if you feel like people might know you better by those identifiers). Then, sit back and let others reply, telling you how much and why they love you. Finally, share the love! Reply to your friends’ comments on this post and tell them how awesome you think they are, or finally tell that one commenter you really respect how insightful you think their thoughts are.

The greatest thing about NGN’s development over the last six years has been seeing all the friendships that have formed among all you who’ve stuck around, and I thought there was no better way to honor that and to thank all of you than a post meant to shower you all with love and to encourage you to do that for each other.

I’ll kick off the comments to show you how to get things started, and I hope all of you join in so I can personally thank you for being such bright lights in my life. Let’s put some more love into the world today; I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!

I love you Winston

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16 thoughts on “Six Years and Counting: Let’s Share Some Love!

    • My beautiful Leslie,

      Congratulations on six years of NGN and even more of writing reviews and loving media the way you do! I am so happy to have been along for this journey with you and it has made me so proud seeing the family you’ve built and the love you’ve gotten from fans, writers, and actors. You deserve every bit of love the internet (and rest of the world) can throw at you today and always.

      In the almost 10 years since the experience that was American Idol fandom (and yes, that did make me feel old but also lucky to have known you for almost a decade), you have recommended so many things I have loved. From the early days of Castle and Parks and Rec to GLOW and a certain pair of ice dancers within the last year, you’ve introduced me to ships to fall in love with and some of the best female characters around. Sharing them with you and getting to watch a lot of our favorites on your couch together has been so special to me and has made them some of my all-time favorites.

      What started as a shared love of media analysis and introspection has since grown into one of the most important relationships in my life. From minor annoyances and victories to big things like dealing with my mom’s cancer and surviving my thesis defense, you have been my rock and cheerleader through it all. I know you’re never more than a text away, ready to support me with open arms (and often cookies). Your friendship is a gift in my life every single day and I am so much better and happier because of you.

      I love you and miss you lots and I’m counting down the days until I see you again and our iconic airport reunion hug!

    • Hi Katie! I’m not really a regular here, but we share common interests (especially Star Wars, am I right?). I came here mainly to read your One Upon a Time reviews, and I got so much out of them! You made me see them in a different and deeper way than I would have otherwise. I hope you plan to write something about “A Wrinkle in Time.” It’s always been a favorite book of mine and I’d be thrilled to read what you have to say about it.

      I love the way you are passionate about writing and you obviously put a lot of time and care into it. I look forward to reading more from you!

      Jennifer Jones (aka @allaboutswan)

      • Thank you so much, Jennifer! You’re always such a bright light around these parts and I love talking about our favorite things together—especially Star Wars!

        I still haven’t seen the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time yet (I know! Crazy!), but I can’t wait to talk all about it once I do!

    • Katie!! Sweetie! My Peggy! etc.,

      Once again, I cannot thank you enough for the lovely corner of joy, sunshine, and analysis you’ve created here and how you adopted me into the NGN family.

      Balance is such a tough thing. I love that you not only fight for it, but that you share that struggle with us. Life changes, and we have to adapt. I know so many of us our proud of what you do in your job and working with your wee dancers. We’re proud of how you’ve handled the challenges of the blog, too. Always remember — this is YOUR blog — don’t let it run you.

      I know this past year has been tough, but it’s been absolutely amazing to see you work through things and fight for your joy. I love how you continually find ways to celebrate the power of story — and how those stories can make us better. Most of all I love that you celebrate all of that with us.

      Your happy makes me happy. (But I can totally carry the happy when you’re having bad days . . . remember our family is like OUaT — we take turns saving each other.) So just keep being your great Katie self.

      SOOOO. Break out the Doctoberfest mugs! Coffee! Hot chocolate with cinnamon! TV-inspired beverage of choice! Don your Peggy Hats! Break out the confetti!

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY NGN!!!

    • Katie, Katie, Katie. You know I love you. And I have just been having so much fun eating our way around Buffalo together. I cant thank you enough for your friendship and helping to make a huge move a little less scary. No matter where I go, you can know that there is someone out there that just GETS your Buffalove, because I share it too.

      I cant wait to discuss this last season of the Americans with you, and to see what other things inspire you to continue to write!

    • To my favorite Californian-by-birth/Buffalonian-at-heart:

      Not only can’t I imagine NGN without you, now I can’t imagine my life beyond this website with you, either. Your friendship and encouragement has always been such an important part of NGN, and now I feel so lucky to be able to go eat ramen with you and talk endlessly over drinks about fictional relationships and even celebrate some of those with waterfront picnics. 😉 Fate must have known that our friendship was too epic to be contained only to the Internet, and I still marvel at how the universe worked to bring our worlds together and put us in the same place after years of fandom friendship.

      You’re always so welcoming to everyone who comes to NGN, and I can’t thank you enough for taking up that mantle when my life got too crazy for me to always answer every comment like I used to. You always bring a passionate but grounded view to being a fangirl, and I love that we both have learned to appreciate the good things our shows give us because we’ve lived through the bad that often comes with decades of fangirling.

      Your intelligence, sense of humor, and appreciation for the fact that fandom should be fun are vital parts of what makes NGN work. And they’re also just some of the many reasons I consider myself blessed to count you as one of my friends. I love you more than I love peanut butter desserts (which we know is saying something), and I can’t wait to hang out after our months of traveling are done!

    • Shauna,

      My sister-in-snark. My NGN soul-sister. There’s that moment when watching something or writing something I know, I just KNOW — Shauna will get this. Shauna will understand. One of the great joys of NGN is knowing that I have found MY PEOPLE!

      So, thanks for being one of my people. For getting my Buffy references and going off on bizarre tangents with me. For understanding a fellow introvert. For thoughtful analysis and great explanations why you responded to an episode the way you did. Hanging out with you on NGN, it’s like getting to sit at lunch at the cool girls’ table.

    • Shauna, I’m so glad you found NGN. Your OUAT posts were always a highlight of the comments and I look forward to your thoughts on The Americans in the same way.

      More importantly though, I’ve enjoyed having you as a friend. I love having someone who loves Korrasami (and the show in general) as much as I do and it was so nice to be able to meet you last year. A NGN Vegas trip should definitely become a reality at some point.

    • My Beautiful Tropical Fish,

      First of all, can you believe it’s been almost 10 years since we first became super close through posts like this one on LJ?!

      Okay, now that I’ve made us feel old…How do I even start telling you how important you are to me? You are the most understanding, patient, empathetic, and supportive friend I could ever imagine having. You’re the first person I want to text when I want to celebrate something good, and you’re the shoulder I lean on when I need support. With all the ups and downs in my life and my writing over the last six years, your ability to encourage me to keep writing even when it’s hard but also your ability to make me feel like it’s okay to take breaks when I need them has been exactly what I needed most to keep going with NGN for so long.

      Your excellent taste in media has inspired so much of NGN’s content through your recommendations, and so many of my posts have only come into existence after long conversations with you. You help me find my voice, and you help me find characters and shows that have inspired me when I really needed new sources of inspiration. You’re my favorite person to be in a fandom “trash can” with, even if it’s just through a string of impassioned Twitter DMs. 😉

      From American Idol, Parks and Rec, and Castle to Star Wars, ice dancing, and all things WDW, can you believe the journey we’ve been on together as fangirls since that summer of 2009? We’ve had so many adventures both in fandom and in the world beyond it, and I’m forever grateful for the fact that our friendship has only grown with time.

      You are such a strong person, and I hope you know how much I admire your ability to be a rock for so many people—myself included. Your selflessness is legendary, and my entire family appreciates how wonderful a friend you are to me and how wonderful a person you are in general. I’m already counting down the days until our next great, big, beautiful adventure, and I can’t wait for another epic airport hug because few things in life make me happier than pulling around at the Buffalo airport and seeing your smiling face waiting for me. ❤

    • It was so amazing to meet you last year Heather! Anytime I post something Korrasami related I think to myself “I know Heather will like this!”. Social media is always a little more fun when you know other people will enjoy your posts as well, and you are a big reason why I still wade into the Tumblr pool every so often.

      Ill probably be back on the west coast soon, and I think we need to make that NGN Vegas trip happen!

    • Oh Tempest, my favorite cheerleader, the Rose to my Peggy…

      I certainly haven’t said this enough, so I’m going to say it now…Your kind words basically saved NGN at a time when I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep going with the site. Last year was a hard time for me—we’re talking “top 3 hardest years of my life so far” HARD. And I just wasn’t sure how to reconcile what I was going through away from NGN with what I had always brought to the site.

      And then you told me that it was okay to share the hard stuff with all of you, too, and that you would all be there for me to lean on when I didn’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. And suddenly I no longer felt guilty for not being who I thought you all needed me to be, and I stopped finding reasons to stay away from NGN. While I’m still not writing as much as I wish I could, the fact that I’m writing at all still is in no small way due to your encouragement and belief that I could just be my messy little self during a tough time and that I’d still have a community that would have my back.

      Your support—whether it’s a comment or a thoughtful gift or a virtual coffee—is appreciated more than I can articulately express. Your kindness knows no bounds, your sense of humor always puts a smile on my face, and you always seem to know exactly what to say to bring some sunshine to my day. Your name might be “Tempest,” but you are a ray of light here at NGN. (I know, I know…the cheesiness is almost unbearable, isn’t it?)

      Thank you for your insight, your generosity, and your true sense of perspective. You’re such an integral part of this little family, and I’d be absolutely lost without you around these parts.

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