I got back from seeing Tavi Gevinson at the Athenaeum Theater. Her talk was basically a complete affirmation of the philosophy I have developed and my attitude towards the world.
She spoke about the value and importance of being a fangirl. It was wonderful because I've gotten to the point where even though there's still a lot of frustrating, depressing, infuriating stuff in the world, I still love it and I love people and I get really bouncy and excited about small, seemingly trivial things. Like, I still freak out when a band I haven't listened to for years release new music (TWO NEW AFI SINGLES OHMIGOSH) and I get really excited about pugs and flowers and shiny things and I spend lots of money on glitter and food because they make me happy. And sometimes people tease me about that or give me a hard time, but it doesn't really matter because it won't make me love those things any less or make me less in love with the world.
Tavi signed my copy of The Virgin Suicides, which she'd been talking about in her speech so that was cool. It's a book I only read recently and one I sort-of wish I'd discovered earlier when I had more time for reading so I could devour it all in one sitting. I fell in love with the language and feel of the book in a way I haven't for a while, which was really wonderful. She told me it was brilliant when I handed it to her.
She's probably the best famous person I have met, from the combination of sincerity, enthusiasm, and also being someone I really idolise. It was also much easier talking to her than to some of the other people I've been lucky enough to meet. She's younger than me by a couple of years (she's the same age as my brother, which is terrifying, in a way) and still figuring herself out, but is still hugely successful, which is enormously validating to me.
Meeting Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer was incredible, and they were all really fantastic experiences, but also quite intimidating. They have experience gained from years of practice and a solid understanding of the world, which is great once you're there but can also be nerve-wracking for people still figuring things out and haven't aligned their experiences with their beliefs and may yet grow to disagree with the people they now idolise (and by 'they' I of course mean 'I'). With Tavi I can both be in awe of her and feel like we are actually peers and might actually have something to say to each other which will be interesting and not just annoying and/ or one-sided, which is sort-of my fear with some of the older people I idolise.
I am actually terrified of the concept of going to dinner or something with one of my heroes because I'm pretty sure I would either blather on like a idiot about incredibly banal things, or just make a series of mildly alarming choking noises while covering myself in soup. With Tavi, I feel like we could have a conversation. It may just be wishful thinking, but hey, so is most of my thinking, and that doesn't mean it's inherently impossible.
She told us about her new mantra, taken from a Rookie commenter, which is kind of a summary of how I view the world and the sort of thing I remind myself of when things get bad: people care, things matter, there are good days.
I think it's really important for everyone to remember that and to make it their mantra.
There are good days.