I blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer for making me give up my dream of becoming a vampire. Or better yet, I blame Jana Riess for writing a spiritual guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s no surprise in this day and age to hear of girls obsessing over the latest vampire fan fic novel or movie, but not me. I remain loyal to only one vampire world and that is of Buffy and the scoobies who live in Sunnydale, which just so happens to be The Hellmouth. (Not even the sexy Smolderholder on Vampire Diaries can change this!) Not only am I infatuated with the shows creator Joss Whedon, but I also think this show is brilliance personified and no matter how many years pass, the legacy of Buffy will always remain. (OK. Stop laughing at me. I’m being serious.)
Anyways, not too long ago I was sitting at my computer googling how to become a vampire. Yes, I know. I need to get a life. Whatever. After coming up short and stumbling upon some rather disturbing and clearly bogus websites, I began to think about WHY people were so captivated by the idea of vampires. The obvious answer is immortality, super speed, possible mind reading powers, and lets not forget the hot sex. But what is the deeper reason? The real meaning behind wanting to live forever? Change- or rather the fear of it. Humans are crippled by the fear of things changing, but vampires get to stay the same forever. I used to think being eternal was the most appealing idea ever and I was determined to find someone to turn me into a vampire or find the fountain of youth or drink from some magical spring like in Tuck Everlasting. No such luck, and THANK GOD.
The one thing that remains constant in life, the one thing that truly makes us all human is change. The idea of not being able to change, to learn, to grow… well, that is even more terrifying than getting grey hair, wrinkles and yes, even dying. Sometimes the changes we are facing in our lives seem unbearable so we conjure up these fantasies- these ideas of some crazy alternative. Like becoming a vampire. Buffy, and Jana, made me realize that the illusion of vampirism is rather bleak and sad and that no matter how painful, change is essential and right and good.
We shouldn’t be worrying about growing up or getting old because that is the essence of what makes us human. Rather, we should be worried about the humans who do not change, but stay stagnant forever.
So, I gave up my dream of becoming a vampire because well, I am afraid – not of change, but of not changing at all. Stagnation is the true enemy, not the transitory lives we as humans, must live.
So here’s to Buffy. My hero – and yes, at times, my friend.
(I am way too invested in the lives of my favorite fictional characters. I know this. Let me be, dammit!)
Here’s to Joss – for creating such a magically profound world.
To Jana Riess- for making me realize what it means to be human.
And here’s to us and our impermanence!
As Buffy says in the first episode of the series…. “Life is short… seize the moment. Cause tomorrow you might be dead!”
[[Book: What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide by Jana Riess.
TV show is available on instant play on Netflix.]]