For a good long while I've been having an issue where fandom - and, though I've (probably poorly) danced around the subject, the Kingdom Hearts fandom in particular - has been slowly losing it's fun and appeal and becoming something either stressful or annoying, or both. I've played around with trying to puzzle out the reasons, and over a long stretch of time I think I hit on a bunch of them, which I won't spell out here.
But, just now, I had an epiphany about the root of the issue. I've done something that I once said I was never going to do - I've let myself become blinded by the need for my predictions and opinions to always be right.
I realized this while I was in the shower, thinking about something I had just read on KH13. The summary of a new interview with Nomura came out today, and one of the bullet points said "The scenarios of KHχ and KH3 are closely related, and are currently being written simultaneously."
Now, most people know that I've long been a supporter of the theory that KHχ's plot isn't really that big of a deal, especially since it would be incredibly difficult to localize and the KH team has proven in the past that they like to make sure, whenever possible, that fans outside of Japan have access to critical information needed to enjoy the series. That was, after all, a huge part of the reason why Re:CODED happened. But that bit of summary definitely implies otherwise. But, in my usual fashion, I take interview summaries with a grain of salt and wait to see the information in context before drawing conclusions - similarly grand statements have been made about KHχ in interview summaries before that turned out to be very minor in context, so, I figured, chances are that this will be the same.
But the specific topic itself isn't all that important. What happened was that I thought about it, said everything that I just said up there to myself in some form, and then, at some point, it occurred to me just how important it was to me that that the summary quote wouldn't be as big a deal as it appeared to me, how much I wanted to feel sure that KHχ's plot wasn't all that critical to the series.
Then I wondered what the big problem would be if it did turn out to be important, localization issues aside, and realized that there wouldn't be one, except...
I would be wrong. I would have yelled out a prediction to the world with serious conviction that turned out to be false. That's it - in the end, that's all I was really afraid of.
I've always prided myself on being able to enjoy a work of fiction no matter what developments arise - I've always believed that I could just go with the flow and let whatever happens, happens, and just have fun with whatever is put out there. But back in the day (whenever that was), I didn't advertise my opinions and ideas often. I didn't have much confidence at the time, and it also didn't seem that important - or, I guess, my opinions seemed less important than everyone else's. So, for the most part, they were mine and mine alone, and I had no one I needed to worry about answering to when I got something wrong.
But over the last few years, I've been trying, and on lots of levels succeeding, at being more confident and assertive in fandom discussions, and even being willing to start my own discussions. I had myself convinced, for awhile, that I could be moderate about my opinions and that I would still be okay if I ended up being wrong, like always.
But I don't handle being wrong very well...and the problem with fandom in particular is that so many things are subjective, it's easy to find yourself debating for a certain opinion that can't be objectively proved correct and to, over time, become very, very attached to that opinion. That has happened to me a lot, I realized.
When you're a person terrified of being wrong (even if you've been trying to convince yourself that you aren't going to be that person anymore), there's a certain pressure that comes with presenting an idea or opinion. Suddenly, as more and more new material comes out, every plot twist is a chance for all of your ideas to go to waste. That's what's happened to me, I think - the stronger the opinions I share are, the more stressed out I have to be about new announcements and games. The more I put out there, the more I have to lose, I guess. I realize that, on some level, I've been fighting a constant battle to make sure that every bit of information we get supports , or at least doesn't directly contradict, ideas I've had all along.
That's the exact opposite of going with the flow, and it's not fun.
So what now? Now I'm tired, and I needed to be asleep hours ago. But maybe if I remember this, I can use it to improve a part of myself that's very important to me.