You've probably figured this out already if you've been following this blog. Or perhaps this will come as a massive surprise. I am a giant nerd. Nope, didn't think that was news to anyone. I watched the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special 'Day of the Doctor' a few weeks ago. I really liked it (although I do have a bit of an issue with Gallifrey being saved - I do so love the shakespearean angst and pathos David Tennant brought to the Doctor) but those discussions aside...I thought the dynamic between the three doctors was great. And secretly how chuffed was I to have a Doctor played by someone with my surname (yay John Hurt).
But one thing it did make me think about was what it would be like to meet different versions of yourself. People have written letters to their 7, 16 or 20 year old selves. What would the current, older version of yourself tell the young child or the daggy teenager? It's usually to tell them that life is ok, that you are ok just as you are. Don't worry so much because it all sorta works out in the end. Stop beating yourself up about not being thin enough, or feeling good enough. Getting older means you realise who you are and you try not to compare yourself to others. Be the best 'you' you can be.
But what I loved about Doctor Who was the fact he got to have a two way conversation. What would the younger version think of what you have become? Would you recognise yourself?
In talking to friends recently, who have known me for over 20 years, I realised how much I've changed. I almost feel like I've had Who-like regenerations over the course of my life. I was a shy and awkward kid who had trouble talking to people I didn't know or reading in class, but I had friends I was close to. I grew into (like most people) a dorky teenager. But my interests and beliefs were being formed in those years. I turned vegetarian at 14 (and still am today at 43) and I began to worry about the environment, animal rights and an impending sense of doom thanks to the nuclear arms race (Frankie says RELAX, ok!)
I had my first boyfriend at 15 (he was 20) and this of course began to change who I was. Simply because my world was opening up. At 16 I was going to see bands and my music taste changed completely. The guys I knew then introduced me to 60s music and lot's of indie garage rock. I started to wear black (which is my uniform now) and paisley and retro clothes. I was still shy and awkward with people but I was always one of the youngest in the room. Everyone else seemed so assured. That relationship ended when I was about 23. Thus a new regeneration began.
I lived on my own for about 18 months. I was broke most of the time but went to watch my friends band and met some great people. Around this time a new relationship began. This was to last 13 years. More change and more music influences. In some ways I became more confident but also more anxious. I travelled overseas twice, and then bought a house. How adult of me. I began to do things at work that challenged my shyness and went through grief when a friend died, and again later when my cat Scully died (she was my first, and I got her when I was single). I found some confidence in my 30s but that was intertwined with anxiety thanks to my Dad and as it turns out, my partner.
I started Uni part time and met Peter. In many ways he was the catalyst for my next regeneration. But in reality maybe he just gave me the spark to make hard choices to change my life. Most of this blog covers the process of leaving one relationship for another and the fallout of that, physically, mentally and emotionally. So here I am 5 years into what feels like a new version of me. I have more music influences thanks to Peter, but also a new found love of the theatre. We talk about books and movies and theatre and bands and food and politics. I'm doing things at work that I could never have contemplated as a younger version of me. Last week I did a 5 minute presentation at a conference and I'm currently acting in a new role at work which means I'm a superviser to a group of staff. I've finished my degree and know that I can write an essay and get a good mark. I've done things I never considered, and gotten through things that I thought would brake me. In many ways this blog has plotted the change of one person into another.
So what would different versions of myself make of me? What would I tell myself? The message of not being so hard on myself would go both ways - older to younger and younger to older. I'm sure I'm not where I thought I'd be. Life just doesn't end up how you plan, no matter how much we might want something, it doesn't always happen. One thing I have taken on each regeneration is my sense of humour. Life needs to be laughed at sometimes, especially when things get tough. I'm lucky as love has come along for the ride too - cats, friends and boyfriends. But there is nothing quite so amazing as being loved by Peter. I would hope that if the varying versions of myself were to meet that they would like each other. See a similar glow but with nuances of the life experience and scars I've gotten along the way. Perhaps the one thing my younger self would say is to cut loose and have fun. I've always been safe and conscientious so maybe a little more craziness would have made for better stories in my dotage.
But in the wibbly wobbly timey wimey context of life I still think it's good to like yourself. In all your changes, variations, and regenerations. No matter how dorky I continue to be :)