If you’re a Doctor Who geek like me, (And who isn’t? Well, probably a lot of people. British accents are rather hard to understand.) your very first question when you sign up for cable at your new pad is, “How much for the package that gets BBCA?”*
Anywho, (See what I did there?) in case you’re not up on this British serial, Doctor Who is a long-running TV program (programme in the UK. Aren’t I cultured?) that stars an alien who can “regenerate” every so often (Thus the fact that 13 actors have played The Doctor over the years.) This Doctor travels through space & time in his spaceship (called the TARDIS; see above) and has adventures with various people (called Companions) They always seem to be in peril one way or the other (obviously) and it’s always great fun to watch.
Anywho #2, the Doctor and his companions can go around changing history (though that’s generally a bad thing.) BUT there are certain happenings throughout space and time that CANNOT be changed, for whatever reason. These events are called “Fixed points in time,” and, as you’ve probably guessed, they’re usually connected to something tragic.
“So, Tee,” you may be thinking, “What does a British serial about a strange alien with a London fixation have to do with Depression?”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of anything to do with time travel — from books, to TV series, to movies. Time travel is exciting and daring and scary, and can destroy the world if done improperly. Remember the ST:TNG** episode where the intrepid band of space explorers meet Guinan before she’s even met them? You see, Guinan and the crew have this marvelous, mind-bending “Lives their lives in opposite directions” thing that always gives me goosebumps. Well, that and alternate timelines. (Yes, I’m weird.) Time travel gives you utter, endless possibilities to both change your life and change the Universe.
And who wouldn’t want access to that sort of power?
Despite all the hope found within the realm of time travel, a thing like the genesis of depression is a fixed point in time; you can throw everything you have at it — even with a Godlike rage (see: the 10th Doctor in Waters of Mars) — but in the end it will always be there, and that’s rather tragic.
But from tragedy can come great beauty. What would society be without the Van Goghs (Van GOFF, tyvm. see: Vincent and the Doctor. Bring tissues.), the Zelda Fitzgeralds, the Beethovens et al? We are not all meant to be geniuses such as these, but many of us find beauty in our souls nevertheless, and sometimes — just a little — that makes up for the dragons we must slay.
Would I travel with The Doctor and change my past if given the opportunity? Perhaps, but I don’t think so. (Well, unless it’s the 9th Doctor. He was rather yummy.) Despite the battles I fight day-in and day-out, my struggles are part of who I am, and I kind of like who I am.
Whether I slay my dragons or not.
* BBC America
** Star Trek: The Next Generation***
*** Okay, I’ll stop now