Nearly three years ago, I sat in the unfurnished living room of my new home and waited for the rest of my family to arrive with the moving truck that held all of the tangible elements of our lives. The cable installer had just departed and I was left with four blank walls and a flat screen television. I flipped through the offerings of our new cable package and found myself at the Starz channel reading the description of a show that sounded very much like something I would like. A WWII combat nurse travels through time to the 18th century Scottish Highlands? I’m in! By the time my family arrived, I was Castle Leoch-deep into the drama and quite miffed that the remainder of the day would be spent unpacking kitchen utensils and linens. I made a mental note to return to the episode as soon as possible.
The funny thing about being sucked into something is that you usually aren’t aware of the vortex that the universe is pulling you into. There’s no sensation of falling or limbs being pulled in opposite directions. You only realize that your life has taken on a new trajectory a few weeks later when you’ve ripped through Season 1 and you’ve caught up with the rest of the world and are impatiently awaiting the Season 2 finale.
I waited for an extra week to watch the finale because I couldn’t imagine what would come next in my television viewing. Dance Moms just wouldn’t fill the Outlander-shaped hole in my heart. After, eventually, getting the nerve to watch the Season 2 finale, I immediately began searching for Outlander information. As I made searches on Facebook, I began to find new “suggestions” popping up in my feed. Funny how that works, eh?
Through what can only be described as a magical confluence of events I noticed that a friend of my mother’s posted something from the Outlander Cast blog. The post grabbed me by the feels and wouldn’t let go so I began to explore other posts on the site.
I noticed that they were making a call for writers, which was interesting because I had been thinking very seriously of creating my own blog as a way to encourage myself to write more. In another interesting turn of events I had just finished writing an anecdote about an evening with my grandmother so I emailed it to the editors and a few days later, much to my surprise, I received a message welcoming me to the blog.
Remember the thing I mentioned earlier about not knowing that you’re getting sucked into something? It happened again. Once I started writing about Outlander, it became difficult to write about anything else. In the process of writing about one thing, I often found myself thinking about three more.
For someone practiced in writing this might not sound strange but, for me, it was no less than a mental breakthrough. I had wanted to write for years but the breakup of a marriage, single motherhood, and a violent relationship had all but locked up my words. In ways that I still don’t understand, Outlander cleaned out my rusty pipes and allowed the words to flow freely again. I wrote about that journey in my first Outlander Cast post, Into the Darkness: Finding Personal Light Through Outlander.
Perhaps, the most amazing element of this story, isn’t Outlander at all; it’s about the friendships that have been formed with people who just happen to love the same show. I have traveled with these women, shared their joys and sorrows, fretted over their family members, and I even started the All Souls Witchy Women Podcast and Blog with two of them.
While Outlander is a television viewing obsession for me, the love of it has given me so much more than hours of entertainment. It has given me the courage and the ability to write, it has given me friends that feel more like family and it has given me hours of joy.
Tonight, when I watch the premiere episode of Season 4, I will be fully invested in whatever predicament Jamie and Claire find themselves in. However, I’ll also be thinking about my Outlander friends and how grateful I am to have them in my life.