Between my social channels, my blog and my e-mail, I receive dozens of private messages from Twilight fans every day. Most of them are short and sweet: A kind fan wanting to share a compliment or wish me well. Some of them are more complex: Questions about how to dress like Alice or how much the average person should budget to attend Forever Twilight in Forks. Some are very personal: A glimpse into someone’s hardships with requests for thoughts and prayers.
But increasingly, these messages are becoming very philosophical, and they go something like this:
Alice, Twilight was my life when I was younger. I would love to go to Forks some day. But I’m afraid that if I go now, it won’t be the same – like maybe I’m too old for Twilight now.
They aren’t all phrased that way, of course, but this the common sentiment: Am I too old to like Twilight? Am I too old to want to visit Forks and indulge in a little fantasy?
First of all: It’s perfectly natural to outgrow things. Not everything in your life is going to be permanent. Your personal taste – your style, the music you love, what you’re looking for in a friend or a relationship, even the food you like – changes as you get older. There’s nothing wrong with waking up one morning and deciding that, after a series of experiences that shaped you into the person you are now, you no longer like something.
But should you discard something you love – and I mean really, really love – because you feel you’re too old for it?
The answer is an emphatic no. You’re never too old to do what you love.
I’ve been a Twilight fan for 10 years. Unquestionably, I was a different person when I first delved into the fandom. I was a university student, newly single after ending a long-term relationship, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was sheltered and a little scared about the prospect of growing up.
Baby Alice in 2009
When I became a Twilight fan, I found a true sense of community. I bonded with people from all over the world who were incredibly different from me. And yet, we all shared one thing: The need to let go of the real world for a little while. The need to believe in true love and fantasy and romance – and the belief that it, too, could be real.
And that’s still true today.
I’m not that person from 10 years ago. I’m smarter, more confident, and a whole lot wiser. I graduated from university – and then college! – and launched a kick-ass career I love. I’m getting married next year. In less than a week, I get the keys to my first home. My circumstances are completely different – and yet, somehow, I still feel that connection toward Twilight. That hasn’t changed, even though I have.
My Alice Cullen glow-up
For me, the one constant in the Twilight fandom is the sense of community. My circumstances have changed, but I still have those friends from all over the world who are incredibly different from me. At my core, I still believe in true love and fantasy and romance – and that those things are as real in this world as they are between the pages of a book. And I can continue to believe those things – can continue to believe in Twilight – because I’m surrounded by the most amazing people who feel the same way.
People who still get a thrill when they see a Twilight marathon on TV.
People who are happy to debate characters and their motivations again and again and again.
People who still tear up when they hear A Thousand Years on the radio.
And you know what? By and large, I found those people – that amazing sense of community that drives my Twilight fandom to this day – by going to Forks.
So if you’re on the fence about taking the trip and want my advice, I say go for it. And once you’re there – among Twilight fans of all ages and shapes and backgrounds – you might realize that once was enough. But still, you’ll be glad you did it.
Or, like me – maybe you’ll find that Forks is your home away from home. Maybe you’ll find exactly what you were looking for.
And I hope you do.