I’ve spent the past year mostly alone, and off and on I’ve thought about this blog without making any real progress toward actually starting. But recently my best friend from college (let’s call her M, since that’s an awesome one-letter nickname anyway) started a blog, and perhaps in an attempt to show some competitive spirit, I decided to try again.
That doesn’t have much to do with being alone, but they’re related in my mind, so there must be something that I wanted to say… Ah! Here it is:
Being alone has given me a lot of time to reflect. I don’t have much to show for this past year, but I don’t feel that it’s wasted. After you graduate college, or even just out of high school, it’s easy to start seeing adulthood as one long, dark tunnel of diminishing freedom and growing burdens.
Getting lost–that’s what I mean. If you don’t take the time to think it out, you could spend years trying to find where you want to go, what your purpose is, or if there even is such a thing as “purpose.”
Sitting down and just thinking about my “purpose” didn’t work for me, however, because I’d think myself in circles, get frustrated, and then give up and find a distraction.
But even while I was distracted (a.k.a. watching TV shows), I’d still be thinking about those questions.
This is how Doctor Who changed my life.
Not all at once or in some grand gesture. There are several different quotes that I could say “changed my life,” but what I’d really mean is that they shifted it by increments. Like tiny adjustments. Doctor Who was the same, only like a small earthquake.
I had it in my head that I was a “homebody”–someone not meant to travel. But then I marathoned a few seasons of Doctor Who, so that the characters took up a lot of space in my head, and I kept thinking about how excited the Doctor always gets about new adventures, even though he has all of time and space and a long life in which to do everything.
But he never acts like he has time. In fact he acts like there’s no way he’ll be able to do everything he wants to do.
“This is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.”— The Doctor, Season 7, Episode 4
That really put my life in perspective, and then my thoughts snowballed. I started wanting to travel. I needed money to travel, and you can’t travel if you’re stuck in a cubicle making little more than minimum wage. I wanted to live a long life so I’d have more time to do all the things I was still discovering I wanted to do. I needed discipline so that I could use the time that I gained wisely.
When I was little I’d imagine what my older self would be like, and that became my goal: becoming my older self. Back then, this “older self” was simply taller, prettier, and cool. Someone I liked a lot.
By my first year of college, I realized that older-me was here, and I had four years to enjoy being her while finding what our next goal would be, and like I said, adulthood was looking long and dark.
So I skipped adult-me. No one wants to think about being old, but I figured that, a tragically young death excepted, getting old was inevitable. Old me and current me aren’t really comfortable, because I’m not used to old people in general (parents not included), but I know that I want her to be patient and wise and very down-to-earth. And loving. And still very cool.
All of these thoughts and goals formed a very nice foundation–a road–that I started walking this past year, and now I feel like I can walk the rest of my life with a sort of courage.
But ask me again when I’ve actually encountered more trouble than my Internet not working.