Sunday, November 21, 2010

Doctor Who as a Metaphor for Life

There are so many things I could address in this blog. I could address our fat idiot of a principal threatening me. I could address the fact that Yew Chung eats your soul, even when you don't work there. I could tell you about the old Chinese man shuffling down the street backwards in his brand-new Converse All-Stars this morning on my way to church. But I'd rather talk about Doctor Who.

A significant number of people who have come into my life in the last six years have been Doctor Who fans, and this spring I decided to give it a try. I liked it alright, enough to watch two seasons, and enough to get excited and set the recorder when I found it on BBC America this summer, but it wasn't until a week and a half ago that I decided to start season three. It and four (which I'm halfway through after starting this morning) have been amazing. Why? Okay, I gotta say, I love the whole traveler of time and space thing - repeatedly the Doctor is asked what he does, and he replies, "Travel." That's kind of my life! But what's really doing it for me is the heroines from these two seasons. Don't get me wrong - I liked Rose, I liked what I saw of Amy, but they don't have the flaws that give Martha and Donna meaning. Or their strengths - I love the fact that after a season of pining over the Doctor Martha says, "Look. Enough of this. I'm getting out and moving on." Who has that kind of strength? And Donna, who we meet at the beginning of season three - she's kind of a loudmouthed idiot, but she helps save the world and, more to the point, pulls the Doctor back from the edge that he currently puts himself out on, then says, "You know what? No. Not going with you - ya kinda scare me." She comes to regret that decision, and by the time you see her again at the beginning of season four, she seems like a totally different person. Still a loudmouth, but more with it, more willing to embrace the world, even when it scares her, and still able to help the Doctor remember what makes him who he is.

I kinda want those qualities for myself.

I also love the fact that this show leaves you with that feeling that anything is possible. I don't mean aliens or time travel, but the little miracles of finding your strength, of moving forward and reaching for what you want.

It's November 21, 2010. I've been in Shanghai for three months and eleven days. In that time I've lost some weight - not sure how much, as it's been a while since I last hit the sauna - made some friends, and become a more driven teacher. But I've kind of been holding back. There's so much more I want to do - I want to belly dance again, not just practice but perform, in the body I had when I lived in Korea. I want to write and illustrate my book - I haven't even touched it in almost two months. I want a closer relationship with God. I realized today that the way I feel about one of my friends, who doesn't seem to really care about me unless I'm needed is probably the way I make Heavenly Father feel, even being the patient, omnipotent deity that he is. When I get home from school, there's not much dance in me, or much art for that matter, and let me tell you about how much I feel like hanging out with Mormons for three hours on the other side of town, let alone throughout the week. But I've been that version of myself before, on all three counts, and so it MUST be possible to be me again. And watching impossible things like Doctor Who makes me believe, somehow, that I will.

That's all I have to say, I guess. Except that I wish - OH, how I wish - that the weekends were just one day longer. I could really use another day.

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