The last day of 2013 has caused be to reflect not only on the past year but on life in general. I have been doing this a lot of late if I am to be honest; I’ve probably been doing it a bit too much. Turning thirty and moving to a new continent necessarily force you to re-examine who you are, your priorities, your goals, and yourself. I’ve been trying to come to terms with new circumstances both at home and abroad. I’ve been trying to get to know myself again.
Whovians all over the world eagerly anticipated the premier of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. I managed to see the last five minutes of the Christmas special (look I was exhausted and jet lagged so I may have fallen asleep for the first bits, but have no fear, I’ll catch up soon). There is always a great deal of sadness when the old Doctor gives way to the new. You don’t know this new guy. You don’t know his quirks, his charms, his pitfalls, or his tagline. (Care for a Jelly Baby?) We love the familiar. It feels cozy and warm. The new feels dangerous and exposed.
I can’t help but feel that I have undergone a regeneration of my own and I’m still going through the immediate recovery period where you say odd things like, “KIDNEYS!” or “Legs! I’ve got legs!” In a way I’m mourning the loss of the person I was and the relationships I had as that person. I had really grown to like myself a whole lot. I was sure of who I was and where I was going. With an ocean of time and a literal ocean between me now and me then, I find I am a bit lost on occasion. It is like that person no longer exists. Being home over the past week served to show me that even if I were to return to the States after my programme, I wouldn’t be able to recapture her precisely. That time and set of circumstances are past.
It’s like getting to know the new Doctor while mourning the loss of the old. That old person will always be a part of me and I am exceptionally glad about that because I think she was a pretty cool person. Lots of smiles, self-assurance, adventurous, and a bit of a risk taker. (I mean, she got me over here, didn’t she?) This new version of me is still floundering a bit. Taking the first few gasps of breath and taking her first few steps. I think there are strains of the old person in there, but there are other aspects as well that I haven’t quite figured out. I knew that this experience abroad would change me, but I didn’t realise the extent of that change.
When the clock strikes midnight over here (7pm for those of you on the east coast of the US), I will be welcoming 2014 and the chance to get to know myself all over again. Last year was the first year that I managed to keep my resolution, to do one productive thing each day. This year, I want to continue that trend and I want to reach 31 December 2014 with the assurance that I have figured out who this new regeneration is. I don’t think I will be a completely different person, but I know I’ll never be the same.
2013, before I go I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And d’you know what? So was I.