When I was growing up I always seemed like the odd kid out. I wasn't interested in princesses or girly things. In third grade, I wrote my first short story entitled, "The Thing Under the Rug." Granted, I won first place in a story competition for it, but it certainly resulted in some weird looks from my peers.
Fast forward to my high school years, when I was struggling to find 'me' in the midst of this new hierarchy. I liked art, I liked to write, but I couldn't seem to connect to anyone or anything. Then, it happened. On a Friday in 1993 I finally found something to connect with.
Fox Mulder Was and Still Is, My Hero
Fox "Spooky" Mulder, was a young, brave and seemingly nuts FBI Agent that was paired with down-to-earth, science-minded Dana Scully. She was supposed to observe his work and findings, and then report back on him. What I found in this character of Mulder was a kindred spirit: A person who was traumatized by the mysterious kidnapping of his sister and who would go to any lengths to uncover the truth. Obviously, I can't relate to that exactly, but I can certainly understand the feeling of being misunderstood and seeing something no one believes.
Mulder was the first TV character I had ever encountered that dared to go against the grain. He did what he felt was right to prove what he believed. What he did believe was outrageous, but I believed too. Yes, it was a fictional story, however it didn't prevent me from finally coming to terms with my own beliefs in the paranormal and extraterrestrial. He was snarky, sarcastic, weird and had a serious obsession with sunflower seeds. Fox Mulder was like a male version of me!
It helped me to start writing again and it helped to give me more confidence in what I was writing. Before the X-Files, if I even dared to talk about aliens, ghosts or monsters, my friends would look like they were seconds away from calling the men with the white coats.
The Show Gave Me Courage to Admit Who I Was
As the popularity of the show gained momentum, I was finding more and more kindred spirits which in itself was amazing considering this was pre-internet (well, readily available internet that is).
One episode in particular aired during a pivotal time in my life when I, much like Mulder, was questioning everything I knew to be true. "The Field Where I Died" episode 4x05, started off as a typical monster-of-the-week but it ended up being so much more. In it, Mulder met a women he had never met, yet knew somehow. The episode dives into the idea of reincarnation and life beyond death. It helped me to see I wasn't so weird to believe in what I believed in.
Scully's Love for Mulder Gave Me Hope
Yes, there was a love story buried in all the aliens, conspiracies and lies. Mulder and Scully barely ever even shared an onscreen kiss, but their love story was one for the ages. Thrown together with the hopes of dashing a young agent's mission, they instead became drawn to each other. Once Scully saw that there was merit to what he was saying, she got on board and became the grounding yin to his outrageous yang.
The X-Files, and by extension Fox Mulder, gave me the courage to write about the supernatural, the ability to stand tall in what I believe in, and the wisdom on how to take out an alien bounty hunter when they eventually take over the planet.
I will be forever grateful to this show for what it allowed me to discover: I was a geek, and damn proud of that. Since then, the genre has become much more mainstream, allowing a new generation of like-minded folks to explore science fiction in new and fascinating ways.
Now, the show is getting a revival and the geek girl in me is so excited, it's honestly hard to concentrate on life. Maybe now, if there are other kids out there like I used to be, they can also discover the same confidence I did because of two agents and a few aliens.
The truth is still out there, and it's going to hit us in January 2016. Are you ready?