Messy Faith,  Personal and Spiritual Ramblings

Dangly pink earrings and a million regenerations {a lesson in identity from Doctor Who}

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I tilted my head to put the dangly pink earrings in my earlobes. They matched the pink shirt I had chosen to wear with my favorite jeans. I topped the look off with a spritz of my favorite glittery perfume.

doctor who premiere

It was a special night and I had spent hours looking for a special tshirt to wear, but had come up empty. I had wanted something that signified just how much this TV show has come to mean to me, without seeming well… crazy fangirl.

TV shows have a way of wrecking me.

Movies, I could take or leave. But with a show, the characters and the way they develop speak to my life, my humanity, my existence. I see myself in them and learn from them and grow from them. It happened with One Tree Hill and Stargate, but it’s this show…Doctor Who…that has touched me in a very deep way.

The Doctor Who fanpage asks, “Why should people watch #DoctorWho?”

And I couldn’t seem to come up with a really good answer. I couldn’t encapsulate in words the depth of what I felt.

Until I sat there in the cafe waiting for the season premiere. They were showing the Christmas episode again – which was good because I needed a refresher course on all that had happened.

There was the eleventh Doctor, getting ready to regenerate. This process of regeneration changes him. It’s still him – it’s still the Doctor. But he gets a new face, a new body…and in many ways, a new personality. But before that happens, he has to let go of himself. Grieve. Say goodbye.

Times change, and so must I. We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different, all through our lives. And that’s okay. That’s good. You’ve got to keep moving. So long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.

Then, the Doctor has to adjust. Take all this newness and mesh it with his memories and his former lives and become something new and wonderful all over again. The process is scary, hard, and draining.

I watched the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, take on that role so brilliantly. I watched his companion, struggling to accept the newness. Wanting to leave because she didn’t know who he was anymore. And Twelve poignantly mourning, “You don’t see me.” – because she’s so caught up in how different he is that she can’t see that he truly is the same person that he’s always been.

Eleven calls her from the past and says, “I think you might be scared. And however scared you are, Clara, the man you are with right now, the man I hope you are with, believe me, he is more scared than anything you could imagine right now. And he…he needs you…don’t be afraid.”

And as I watched both of these scenes, I knew that this, above all, was the reason I love Doctor Who. Because my twenties have been full of a million regenerations…a million changes. A million times of looking in the mirror and seeing a totally different person and yet knowing that, in spite of all the changes, I’m still me.

I’ve struggled to push back against the memories of all of I have been and look forward to all I can be – and somehow find myself in the middle. It’s been exhausting and scary and even those closest to me have struggled to understand it all, to see me for who I am – the same person who I always have been, and yet so different from what I used to be.

I must keep changing – keep moving forward. That’s what life is. Becoming a new person over and over again. And just like the Doctor said, “…that’s okay. That’s good. You’ve got to keep moving. So long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”

That’s part of the reason I keep this blog. Because I don’t want to forget “one line of this…one day.” I want to be able to look back and see all of the people that I used to be. To always remember when Aprille was me.

And so, that night, I was content with my pink shirt and pink dangly earrings.

Because, while seven years ago I didn’t really know what a geek was or all that loving one would entail

doctor who geeksboro

While I didn’t understand geek culture and thought that Star Wars, Star Trek, and Stargate were pretty much the same thing…

And while I never could have dreamed that fictitious characters could make me feel very non-fictitious emotions…

I’m still me. I don’t need a fan shirt. I just need to be the girly girl in the pink shirt and the dangly earrings.

doctor who geeksboro

This it isn’t just a show about aliens and time travel and the end of the world. It’s a show about one man and his beautiful, heartbreaking, ever-changing identity. That’s something that everyone can relate to. And that’s why I love Doctor Who.

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