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Amber Spark


"Do it with love, do it with passion and never dream small!” - Author, Designer & Creator - Patreon/Ko-Fi

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Oct
23rd
2019

Believers: My Past, Present & Future with MLP · 6:28am Oct 23rd, 2019

Note: Finale Spoilers!

At this moment, a thousand thoughts are zinging through my head. A thousand ways to begin this story. A thousand paths it could go. A thousand dreams for a better tomorrow. A thousand thank yous for those who’ve stood beside me on this crazy road.

Through Heartshine’s kindness and grace, I’m sitting here in the morning at her dining table. She’s still asleep in her own bed, and I spent the night on her surprisingly comfortable sleeper sofa. I’ve already gotten cleaned up and ready for the day, though I don’t know what that day will entail.

It’s been two days since Heartshine and I watched the epic and beautiful grand finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Three days since I arrived here in Oregon for my Walkabout.

Four days since I stepped onto a train that would take me on an adventure unlike anything I’ve ever known.

Since I arrived, Heartshine and I have literally spent days just talking. We would talk for something like 12 hours straight. She recently did a binge of Babylon 5, the greatest science fiction series of all time, though I got to introduce her to The Lost Tales, two short-story episodes set ten years before (and after, in a way) the end of the series.

You know, there’s another similarity between Babylon 5 and MLP (besides JMS, the creator of B5, announcing on Twitter recently that it’s the crossover he wants the most, no joke). Both shows end with a finale that jumps forward by 20 years or so. MLP is probably around 20-30 and B5 is a very specific 20.

Babylon 5 ended with something that hits me hard even to this day. And I think, on a day like today, it’s a perfect quote.

"Babylon 5 was the last of the Babylon stations. There would never be another. It changed the future, and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future, or others will do it for us. It showed us that we have to care for one another, because if we don't, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places. Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope… that there can always be new beginnings, even for people like us."

I think you see where I’m going with this.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I put myself on Hiatus and went on Walkabout during the finale of MLP. As the finale was airing, I was waiting at a train station to begin my journey to Oregon.

Babylon 5’s finale aired on November 25, 1998. And I watched that finale. To this day, that show has shaped how I see the world. It established what I believe when it comes to morality, honor, sacrifice, justice and even romance. I have a goatee because of that show. Small and silly as it sounds, that’s how much of an influence it had on me.

MLP?

MLP has already done far more for me that Babylon 5 ever did. Babylon 5 built a lot of the foundation of how I look at the world. MLP rebuilt the house atop that foundation (not to mention filling in so many of the cracks). And the best part is, that new house came with a lot more doors and windows.

Before MLP, I never would have flown across the country to hang out with a couple thousand people in Baltimore about a TV show. Before MLP, I never would have spent hours and hours slaving away over stories about characters who aren’t my own original creations. Before MLP, I never would have accepted the offers of friends to come and stay at their homes, be it in New Mexico or in Oregon.

Before MLP, I had never found people who, for the most part, unilaterally accepted me for who I am; strengths, flaws and everything in between.


Before MLP, I never would have gotten to the point where I’m finally comfortable saying that I’m trans.


I find that difficult to write and I frankly don’t know if it’ll stay in the final version of this post. I may be just talking to myself. But I’m going to try and keep it.

And the best part is… I did.

MLP’s fandom and the friends I got out of it always encouraged me--whether they knew it or not--to be me. The truth is, despite how I might present to some (and to others, this comes as no surprise whatsoever), I’ve been trans for most of my life, at least the last twenty years.

The painful part of it is that I’m married and have two children. And while Painted knows, it’s something she struggles with. She can’t really accept it because of what she believes (no knocking her, by the way, anyone who says something bad about her is gonna get their comment deleted). There are many other aspects, of course, stuff like family, presentation, appearance and my age, but this isn’t the place to do a long dissertation on all of that.

Needless to say, this is something that’s been building for years. And I’ve quietly come out to several friends who I trusted. People like Heartshine, Albinocorn, Tsitra, Ebon, Mono, Swan, Jyki, Cursori and Jay. None of them rejected me. Most of them were pretty much “Yeah, I suspected.” Some were like “Wow, thanks for trusting me.”

I would have none of these people in my life without MLP. Some were authors who I practically worshipped and after managing to bury my fear, I got a chance to know. Some are people who I met through friends of friends. Some, I got to know through other ways.

But all carry a love of MLP in their hearts.

Heh, this blog is not going the way I had envisioned it. Comes with being a discovery writer, I think.

Why say any of this? What does this have to do with Babylon 5 or the finale of MLP:FiM?

In the epic final battle, we see Twilight draw on the power of the past, the present and the future of Harmony itself, right after the allies of Equestria came to their rescue. With the unified power of multiple ponies and creatures from multiple races, Twilight strikes down the Three Big Bads in a final and very definitive way.

In the Epilogue, we see that Twilight struggled horribly with having to leave for real and her friends were just as devastated by it, though they were desperately trying to stay strong for her.

But we also see something even more important.

The Mane 6 made a pact the day Twilight left to return to the city where she began: that even though this was an ending, it wasn’t the end. They made a vow that they would work to keep their friendship alive.

And that vow kept them going--and turned Twilight into the wise and calm leader we always knew she could be--through years of pain and years of joy. That pact kept them going through the implied loss of Goldie Delicious and Granny Smith. It also helped them celebrate Pinkie getting married and having a little foal of her own.

I’m picking specific examples here, but I think you’re starting to see the point.

In one of the many conversations Heartshine and I have had in the last few days, she told me that at one point, she found herself deeply saddened by what she saw around her in the fandom. What she saw was that we could be better than what we are and she often felt like the only person around who saw that potential, the only one who wanted that world. She quietly called herself, and a few others, ‘Believers.’

She’s not alone, because I have felt the very same thing.

I am a Believer, just like her.

I believe that if we could get the next generation, male and female, to take to heart the lessons of friendship that MLP has been teaching us for nine years, that it could very well reshape the face of the world. I’m not talking about the ponies themselves, but what they represent. The Elements of Harmony are a powerful symbol of all that’s good in this world. And the values we see in this show align so well with so many systems of faith.

I have seen a great many fans turn into casual showgoers. I have seen some fans become jaded to the point of being almost cruel, because they focused on the less savory aspects of the fandom. And often, I felt like the last soldier left on the battlefield, wondering where the rest of my team has gone as I’m struggling to keep the dream alive.

The truth is, many of those around me who used to show the passion of a believer have decided to move on. I hope they have been bettered by this show.

But here’s the difference that so many people miss. For those of us who are still Believers, our numbers are dwindling, but they are not dying.

The fandom is not dying. 

It is shrinking, but maybe a better word would be ‘coalescing.’ For those of you who don’t know that word, it means “come together to form one mass or whole.”

There are people who are going to move on. That’s fine. But those who remain will be some of the strongest Believers we have. For many of us writers, the truth is that we’re not done with our grand stories. Nor should we be!

The finale opened twenty-plus years of possibilities for us. While I’m sure some people are annoyed over the ships they locked down or events that happened, the truth of the matter is, you don’t have to be. After all, it’s still fiction.

Yes, that book has closed.

But the next book waits to be written.

G5 is the book after that.

This book? The next one in the ongoing saga of these crazy little ponies who have invaded our lives and our hearts? That’s ours.

The creators of MLP:FiM have passed the baton to us. And now, we can do anything we want with it.

For example, I have this great idea for a comic where at the end of the day we see in the Epilogue, Sunset (maybe as an alicorn, maybe not), comes through a portal of her own, kisses Twilight on the cheek and asks simply “So how’d your meeting go today?” And Twilight would wrap in her in a hug and just whisper “Perfect.”

This isn’t over people. It’s only over if we let it be over.

Star Trek didn’t actually take off until it hit syndication. And that fandom became so powerful, it created five (soon to be six) television series, over a dozen movies, more books and comics than I can count and got the first space shuttle prototype renamed after the Enterprise by a mail-in campaign (this was before email, folks).

And despite the popularity of Star Trek, I don’t think they’ve had nearly the same level of humanitarian impact as the MLP fandom. We’ve built orphanages, raised money for autism, wildlife protection, cancer, we’ve poured money into children who nearly killed themselves because they were bullied for liking MLP. For the love of Pete, people, you guys bought my family a new freaking car in our hour of need! You helped fund our forced move! I’ve seen what you can do first-hand.

This sort of culture, this sort of community… this doesn’t go away because the match that lit the candle has burned out. The fire has been passed to us. We’ve been given such an amazing gift and I, for one, am not about to let that just disappear in the night.

MLP changed my life. Some might claim that I’m holding onto the past. They’re wrong. The reason I’m coming back from Hiatus, why Wavelengths is going to continue, is because I am still a Believer. I still am passionate about this. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I know that we’re a long way from Equestria. The difference between humanity and those pastel ponies is night and day most of the time. And that difference, that distance, seems immense.

But every day, we can take another step closer.

Just like every single day for the last few years, you have inspired me and given me hope that I could one day truly be just me.

The me I’ve dreamed of being.

You people, my friends, are the only people in the world who accept me for who I am. There’s a reason why I’m coming out here in a big way first. I may never come out in the “real world.” I may never tell my family. I may never actually transition. Every journey is different. Everyone has their own path. But the truth of the matter is, all I’ve ever wanted in life is acceptance and validation, just like so many of you do.

And while the way I know many of you varies to “we hang out every day online,” to “why the bloody hell don’t you live closer?” to “I love your comments on stories,” to “I consider you among the best people I know and my closest and dearest friends,” each aspect of our friendships are amazing.

The friends and bonds we’ve forged together in the world of MLP are strong and powerful. Some may eventually fade, if we’re willing to put in the work, just as the Mane 6 did, then most of those will remain. It’s a choice. It’s not going to happen by magic.

We need to do the work.

We need to be there for one another as we have in the past.

We need to know that now, more than ever, this is our time. G4 is now ours. We’ve been entrusted to care with not only these ponies, but with these ideas.

I am a Believer. And I plan on staying as one. Naive or not, foolish or not, I’m staying.

And I’m staying because of you. You make it all worthwhile.

I hope you’ll stay with me. I hope you’ll join the ranks of the Believers. It won’t always be easy. It’ll take work.

But as Twilight said,

"Friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt, it's worth fighting for."

Even after all this time, I still believe her.

Thank you. For everything you’ve done. And everything you’re still yet to do.

Amber Spark

P.S. My Hiatus is officially over. It’s good to be home.

Fun fact: originally, the second line of this blog read “I sit here in the morning at Heartshine’s dining table while she’s still asleep.” Because of the nature of this blog, I decided I wanted her to read it first… and she had some minor objections to this line. After all, it does imply things. So, I was under strict orders to fix it, lest the implications become… problematic. It’s fixed, Heart! There!

Comments ( 54 )

1. Welcome back, Novel! We missed seeing your name pop up on the Fimfic news feed!
2. Thank you for sharing this news with the community at large, and trusting us all in some way to know. I can't speak for all, but you're awesome and I'm happy that you're happy! *brohoof*
3. I like to think that I'm in the Believer camp too. I acknowledge the times where we've fallen down as afandom, but like you, I recognize the immense amount of good that we've accomplished - and continue to accomplish. And to your point, we CAN get better, one little step at a time. It just takes a bit of dedication and Applejack-like dedication! :ajsmug:

And most importantly: As you said, it's all up to us now. But if we remember the lessons these ponies taught us, and keep these new friendships alive and well, then the Equestria we all love will never really go away. /)

Welcome home, Amber.

There is so much that I could say here but I just cant seem to find the words.
I will say though that I think I may also be a beliver. This show has done so much for me and this fandom has done even more, despite never going to a convention or meet up and only knowing a handful of fellow fans in real life over the years I have come to be part of a huge community that I adore and have made some wonderful friends who I enjoy talking with almost every day.
That friendship will continue to last for as long as we maintain it, and I have no intension of letting that go.

I regret not writing enough while the show was running. I had 9 years and only 4 stories to show for it.

But now it’s over, I feel the need to keep going. As you said, it’s up to us now to keep the magic of friendship alive. It will be an honour to do that with you. :twilightsmile:

I'm really proud of you for opening yourself up like this. I'm just a stranger, yeah, but that doesn't mean I can't give support. I know several trans people-- They're some of the strongest, happiest people I have the pleasure of being alive at the same time of.

You have every right to be the best you.

As for your comments on the end of MLP... You're right on all marks. The show might've ended, but G5'll come eventually-- And no matter what, there will always be stories to be shared, characters to be made.

Cheers to you. Taking a shot in your honor.

Well now... welcome back. Glad your walkabout ended better than Franklin's. I uh... coulda done with a spoiler warning, since I'm a lazy degenerate and haven't watched the finale yet (I like to Netflix binge, what can I say?). Edit: Seems there is a warning, I don't know if I just missed it or if it was added later. But even had it been there I'da still read this so I guess it's academic.

More importantly, I'll say again welcome back. Dunno if I'm a Believer really. Faith has never been a strength of mine. But at the same time... I feel damn sure this is not going anywhere, so whatever that's worth.

It's odd to me how a confession like this one feels less brave here. It isn't less at all, and yet... When did acceptance of such things feel so much closer to a given? Not before this fandom for me, that's certain. A friend came out to me in high school, on the condition I could not tell others (he was going into the Navy, but more than that his best friend would never have accepted it). I felt... both deeply honored and saddened that he was right; most of our friends would not have been okay about it. That was just over twenty years ago; so much has changed for the better, but not enough.

Is this fandom a part of that? Obviously that's what we're saying, and it will continue to be. This can be a place where no shadows fall. I don't know if I believe it, but I believe it can be believed.

I'm glad you're back. We all know how important a Spark is to Friendship.

I have only one thing to say.
That was simply beautiful.
Thank you.

Welcome back. :heart:

I watched Babylon 5 earlier this year and I agree with everything you said about it! Many references in your post.
I should catch up to the final seasons of FiM now that it's been completed. I am curious as to what a next series/generation will entail.

End of an era. A new beginning. Wish you luck!

I am a believer.

I want to offer my congratulations first and foremost, my friend. I do not know you that well, even having met you a few times in real life these past few years when you have attended EFNW and I was able to attend. Seeing you, as well as the others who attend the convention, has always been the highlight of that year. You have always been, and remain, an amazing person and an inspiration to me as a writer, and I am glad to see you return to us, hale and in better spirits than when your hiatus started. And I am over-joyed to hear that during this journey you have become more true to yourself, and have chosen to share this wonderful development with all of us.

Beyond your wonderful news on what you have found on your journey of self-discovery, your blog was insightful and comforting in a way. I worry, a lot honestly, about losing the friends I've made on this train ride this past few years on the friendship express has gained me. I've feared losing the drive to continue what I have been working on, and just let it fade into the background no matter how much I profess I want to keep going, because I am a storyteller and I need people to tell stories to. But, you reminded me of a fact I've known for a while, we're not really fading, the fandom isn't going to collapse. It will endure, smaller but closer and with those who wish to be here because we love the show, not because it's a fad.

I think that's really honestly the reason I've not watched the finale. I'm terrible with endings, I hate to see things come to a close. Doubly so with something that has become such a deep, intrinsic part of me. The ponies aside, I strive every day to live up to the ideals gifted to us through the show. Seeing the show end, saying goodbye to characters whom have become a deep part of my life is painful. But again, your blog reminded me that this simply means that the torch is in our hands (or hooves ;3) now.

But also, it reminded me of something I once told another person; There are no such things as goodbyes, only promises to see you later. That in the end, even when paths diverge, when friends find themselves walking a different way than you, it is never truly goodbye. For even if you never see them again, they shall always be with you, and be a part of you through the time they have spent with you, the memories you have made, and the lessons you have learned.

So too, I am reminded, it is with this ending of a chapter.

Anyway.... it's late, and I am rambling in a comment again because your blog inspired feelings :raritydespair: and I decided to put them to internet paper.

I am glad you're back, I am glad you have decided to share a part of you with us that you have been wanting to share for a long time. I am glad you shall continue your beautiful, glorious stories. And above all I am glad you are a believer.

Because I am a believer too, I just needed to be reminded of it.

~Sylvian

Edit: I realized, after I hit publish on this comment, that I should share the song I had playing while I was writing it, because it fits, it fits so well.

I'm proud of you, Amber. Congrats, and welcome back!

5144057
Amen! To paraphrase Shakespericles, we're on this ride until the wheels fall off - then we're getting out and pushing. :)

Congratulations! I can't imagine this blog was easy to write--specifically that one sentence in the middle. I hope it feels good to have come out. Just a couple weeks after Oct. 11th, National Coming Out Day, I might add. I know you'll face many challenges, but I hope the liberating feeling of being your beautiful self more than makes up for it, and regardless of what happens, we all have your back.

And I'm glad you're a believer. Sometimes it doesn't feel like there are too many of us. But while you and I write very different stuff, we both believe in the power of friendship to spread love and change lives. Don't ever let that die.

I know we haven't interacted much, but I would feel remiss to end this comment with anything other than:

In friendship, Super Trampoline :heart:

This was a great last thing to read before going to bed tonight. I’m exited for the future and hopeful that I can bring myself to be a bigger part of it than I was before.

I shall always be a loyal fan of yours
Your writing is superb, and while I may not know you personally, i think you are awesome.
I also agree that babylon five was awesome too

Glad you’re hiatus is over! You got this amber/novel

This message look wonderful, thank you for the kind words! And, of course, I`m also Believer, ponies have given me a lot of good things in life, without it changes I could have missed out on a lot of good things that had happened over the years. Friendship is Magic!

Really lovely of you to post this. Happy for you Amber!

Welcome back, Amber. (And wow, this puts new context on Teahouses.) Thank you for trusting us with something so personal. (Or do I congratulate you? I'm legitimately unsure...)

I am absolutely a Believer. I'm wrapping up the last of a trilogy of "Don't be sad it's over; be happy it happened and keep it happening" stories, and from there? So many ideas. Twilight worried about Luster Dawn and asking Celestia about early warning signs back when Sunset was, you know, evil. Time-lapse parole hearings for the three petrified villains, once every ten years as the world flickers past them. More with the Oversaturated World. More earlier in the show's timeline. More.

After all, we have to fill the time until G5 somehow. :derpytongue2:

Also:

For example, I have this great idea for a comic where at the end of the day we see in the Epilogue, Sunset (maybe as an alicorn, maybe not), comes through a portal of her own, kisses Twilight on the cheek and asks simply “So how’d your meeting go today?” And Twilight would wrap in her in a hug and just whisper “Perfect.”

Doooo iiiit. :raritystarry:

I can't say much now, but I did want to say this was a very inspiring read, and reminded me just how much MLP has meant to my life. Congratulations on having the courage to come out to us, and I wish you nothing but the best, Amber! Keep inspiring, and keep loving!

It's so good to have you back! As always, I'm here for you whenever you need me and for whatever you need me for. I know coming back doesn't mean all the problems are gone, so please never hesitate to reach out to me. And, of course, congratulations on finally coming out :twilightsmile:

All around, well said.

*hugs* Welcome home

From another Believer, welcome home, Amber. It's good to have you back again.

I have no clue how hard that must have been to go through, Amber, but I'm glad, and I'll be here. The new you is cute, although your sudden lack of a nose is troubling.

Damn, that was touching.
Almost teared up a little.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I have nothing pithy or insightful to say, so just know I'm pleased that you were able to announce this and I support you. :)

Adding my support to you as well. You're awesome. And you've got a lot of good friends to help you along whatever journey you make. <3

Wanderer D
Moderator

As you know, I'm also a huge Babylon 5 fan. So when I saw "walkabout" I knew exactly what you meant on that additional, deeper meaning.
I had no idea you were trans, but I am glad you found the strength to admit it publicly. It is very encouraging to see that, and I imagine it also imparts a true sense of ownership to your own nature that hiding it didn't. It takes strength, and really acknowledging yourself and that is something that whether people accept it or not, they can't take away from you. It's a beautiful thing, honestly, and again, I am not only glad, but happy for you.
MLP and Babylon 5 share a lot of things, I find... hope and community being something that springs to my mind as well. As fellow fans, we know things end, and yet they do not. We miss G'kar, but we know his words are handprint in our soul—as he said, we are one,

Welcome back! :pinkiehappy:

Welcome back, Amber. <3

Coming out can be especially difficult when it's to people who's approval and affection you have but might lose. Doing it with over a thousand followers couldn't have been easy.

I fondly remember the first time I came out to people on the internet whose approval meant the world to me, but had only known me from before I transitioned and to whom I'd never hinted that I might be trans. The community had formed over common love of video games; the first response was "Solid plot twist, Samus." I fondly remember it, but --right up until I read that-- I'd been absolutely terrified.

Entirely apart from all that, I'm seconding Sun Sage's comment. Glad your walkabout went better than Doctor Franklin's.

Speaking as a transperson myself, HUGS! I'm glad you felt comfortable coming out like this, and glad to hear that you have so many supportive friends. I'm probably not the best person to talk to about it, but I'd be happy to do so if it would help.

I owe a lot to MLP:FiM, the show and the fandom, it helped me through some pretty awful times, and still does so. It has also provided me the biggest motivation to getting back into creating -- writing and music. I'm definitely sticking with the fandom as long as it exists, this is more my home than anywhere else I've been, and the good people in it far outnumber the unpleasant and obnoxious ones. I am definitely a Believer. I'm also a big Babylon 5 fan.

Welcome back Amber! I have always supported you and will continue to do so. I am a Believer.

Finally got to read this on the train to work and almost cried. You put into words emotions I could never express and some I didn’t know I had.

Everyone has a light inside them. Yours shines something fierce. I often use it as a guidepost. So, Fimfic and the Nook were quite dim to me while you were gone.

What I’m trying to say is: I’m glad you’re home.

Welcome home, Amber. I can't wait to see where the next phase of this journey takes us all. 🤗

Welcome home.

Thanks for sharing, it really has been one hell of a ride and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

This feels like an important moment to witness. Congrats.

I'm not sure if i'd call myself a believer, but ever since joining the fandom i have a lot of moments where i ponder how "harmonic" my actions are, and how to improve.

Nice to have you back.

Happy to see you again! :heart::pinkiehappy::heart: I believe

Interesting read, certainly gave me something to think about.

As for the ending, it was well overdue at this point. Should've ended season 5 or 6 tbh...

5144055
You know, GMF, I know we've been to the same cons, but I can't recall if we've ever properly met! If you're coming to the next EFNW, we'll have to change that terrible state of affairs!

Thank you for your kind words. I know I'm going to wear out that phrase by the time these responses are done, but I don't have anything else that does it justice. You were the first in a long line of people who just showered me with support (though I'm sure timing was a big part of that for so many, I don't want to dismiss them!). While I was never afraid of the response I would get from the FimFic Community and my friends on here, not being afraid and getting practically drowned in acceptance are two very different things. So thank you. Again!

Carabas said it pretty well in his retrospective with something akin to "Name a group of humans who haven't screwed up," but yeah, we shouldn't focus on those moments. Focused on the steps ahead, not to the stumbles behind. And on that road, I see only one thing: the place where no shadows fall.

It's a dream worth fighting for. Thank you for joining that fight. :heart:

5144056
It's good to be home.

5146730
Yeah, we've probably crossed paths a bunch of times, but no worries! Yes, I'll be at EFNW for sure! (it's my 'never miss' con since I joined the fandom)

Looking forward to meeting you there! :D

Thanks for having the courage to share such a heartfelt post and glad to see you’re back.

Edit : forgot to mention “I know that we’re a long way from Equestria.” Absolutely gave flashbacks to https://youtu.be/BgNn8RLHrhk

5144057
In today's era, online friends can be just as real as the ones we see on the street. There's nothing wrong with you not connecting with people in the "physical world." You're still connecting. I, for one, love your comments and encouragement, in more ways than you might expect!

Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a Believer.

I'm so happy for you, Amber!

Personally, I have fallen away from MLP, at least for now. This is the first time I've logged on to FimFic in months... but I'd like you to know that I did so because I wanted to see how you were doing. I've been unable to help you in the past, but I've never forgotten you. It was the community that drew me to MLP in the first place, and it was the community that kept me engaged in it for as long as I was. I'm here because of the people; people like you, whose writing and wonderful personalities inspired and drove me.

A lot has changed in my life over the past few years, and MLP has fallen to the side because of that. I've made friends for the first time in years, people I've met IRL. And because they don't happen to be in the fandom, my priorities have had to change. My time's been spent differently, in part because of changing schedules and workloads, and in part because I've balanced things more around the people who are here before me.

But I still want to read Wavelengths. I will still leave comments when I do--it might take years, but I intend to get there eventually. And I have so much to thank this fandom for, including planting the seeds for me to discover my own rainbow identity. I have seen such wisdom here, such openness and kindness and support. MLP and its fandom changed my philosophy and my life. There are things I've heard from people here that I still think about every day; and I can blame some content creators for helping me discover one of the most important passions I have.

So while I can't stick around now, and while I'm very sorry I haven't been much help or support to anyone in the past, I want you to know that I'm glad you're holding strong here. I am so happy you feel comfortable enough to come out to this site; though I haven't done a good job of showing it, though we've interacted very little, I care about you. Your story is touching (though it's been scary at times), and your wisdom is inspiring. (It's probably a little weird that such a stranger feels this strongly, but empathy is my greatest strength--and weakness--and having followed your blog since before The Quiet War posts, I can't help it. I care. Figuring out how to turn that caring feeling into caring action has been my self-improvement project for the last year or so, because I want to do better than I have.)

Stay strong, Amber Spark. I hope I'll be back someday.

I'm not sure why I wasn't following you before, but I am now!

First off: both of my sisters are trans and from both of them, I know just how much courage it can take. I'm so very happy for you! I can only imagine how that must feel.

Second: I hadn't realized just how much I would miss this show until I saw the finale. It struck home that an era was coming to an end—something that's been with me nearly my whole adult life was finished, done... gone. I found myself longing for the days of old, when I had daily conversations with people in the fandom, actively participated in discussions on the site with people I didn't know, or just watched the notifications tick by on a daily basis with a fresh helping of stories or blogs to read. I hadn't even logged in in a year and a half. I was in a rut for a good couple of weeks and had the hardest time digging myself out of it.

But then I realized something: I had brought this feeling upon myself. I was the one not making an effort. I was the one letting it end. I resolved then and there to make a difference. To be different. To be better. To better the world.

I've met some of the most amazing people through this fandom and it's been such a wonderful joy to have this show and all these people in my life, even those I only know in passing.

Thank you for writing this truly beautiful blog post. It gives me hope that there's others who feel the same way as I do out there, who don't want to let this fandom end--who will carry the torch forward.

From one believer to another: I can't wait to see what's next. We've only just begun. And we've got this. Together.

Day after edit: edited some stuff. :ajsmug:

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