Friday, January 06, 2012

"And you know what? So was I."

I am a fan of a television show called Doctor Who. It is about an alien time traveler who flits about the universe across time and space (and even occasionally other dimensions) having adventures with people who travel with him, generally humans and generally from Planet Earth.

The role was first played by an older gentleman named William Hartnell who toward the end of his time on the series had trouble with his health. The show was too popular to end and so the idea was struck upon to recast the role, however to not try and replace him with someone that looked similar, but rather with someone younger.

They used the fact that the character was an alien to allow them a special way to do it. When a Time Lord (the lead character's species) was near death, their bodies renewed their cells. At first we were to think that the original character simply got younger. But after the second actor, Patrick Troughton, was done with the series and was replaced by the third, Jon Pertwee, a much taller actor, it was clear that the bodies changed. This was called a "change of appearance".

When Pertwee was replaced in the part by Tom Baker, there was finally a name for this process: regeneration. For the character it was sort of a death of the ego, followed by a completely new man that was still, somehow, the same man. I have been thinking a lot about this process lately because I almost feel like I am undergoing it.

Doing the ACA work is changing me. Being in a relationship with Kathy is changing me. I am looking at things differently, seeing things differently, and doing things differently. And yet, somehow, I am still me. That said, I have lately, periodically, felt sad for no discernible reason.

Things are going pretty well for me in just about every corner of my life. So I am thinking that this feeling of sadness is coming from the current me knowing that this me, the one who was controlled by being an ACoA, is on his way out the door, never to return. I'm regenerating. But the new me will still be me. But still not ginger. (A Doctor Who joke.)

The ninth Doctor becoming the tenth, explaining the process.

And the tenth Doctor becoming the eleventh.

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