Changes

 

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Everything changes. No I’m not talking about the first episode of Torchwood or the song by Take That. No I’m talking about in life. It’s like one of life’s certainties like death. For much of my life I have hated change. I have fought against it, had anxiety over it or got angry when changes are forced on me. This is at times when my life is going great. I loved the job I had at Somerfield’s until it got closed down. I’ve had close friends, spending time hanging out with them worrying about losing them only for this self-fulfilling prophecy to eventually come true.
Nowadays I try to have a more different view towards change. It was something I had to come to terms with in uni. I loved being a student, going to lectures and hanging out with fellow students in the SU bar drinking Snakebites. But I always knew it was temporary and that I would have no choice in when it ended. Three years and that’s it. With this time limit I learned to savour every moment I could out of my time there. I still have times when I miss things or people from my past, sometimes so much it hurts but at the same time when changes have happened they have always lead to something new in my life.
Had I not been made redundant I wouldn’t have got a job where I’d meet someone who’d not only turn out to be a great friend but got me into ghost hunting and was the one who suggested that I go back to college which eventually lead to going to uni. Many times changes have brought new experiences into my life.
I shouldn’t be surprised. That change can be good is something I learned very early on. Deep Space Nine had a character, Jadzia Dax, who was joined with a symbiont who had already lived seven lifetimes. In one episode I remember watching as a kid she talks about how each change is good because it leads to new experiences. That has always stuck in my mind.

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But even more so I’m a Doctor Who fan, a show where the lead character has changed faces and personalities twelve times and had companions and friends that have come and gone over the years. In my life I’ve been like the tenth Doctor, resisted to change, raging against it and haunted by those words. “I don’t want to go.” But his incarnation is an exception. As the second Doctor commented just after his regeneration that “Life depends upon change. Even more so there is the eleventh Doctor’s final speech.
Recently I was given a sudden and upsetting reminder of my past about a friend of mine that died young a long time ago. I could remember where she lived, I remembered where I was when I got the message that she had died but for the life of me I could not remember her name and that was what got to me. Thankfully it came back to me a couple of hours later and an important part of my life was returned to me.
So yeah I must remember my past, who I was, the things that I have done. All the things that have happened to me good and bad because among other things it shows that I always survive change and many times it leads to something new and exciting. And there may even be some indications that changes are coming my way. We did Tarot cards in circle this week. I’ve always loved Tarot and have many decks. Anyway I got a reading from someone which indicated some new things coming into my life including possibly a woman. Now obviously I can take that indication in two different ways but even so I left that night feeling very positive about the future.
Changes are a coming. Prepare yourself, embrace it, hold on tight and go with the flow. You never know what’s around the corner.

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I’m in a Circle

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So a few weeks ago I’m speaking to one of my best friends. She’s the one that got me into ghost hunting as well as mediumship. Her husband, who is a medium, was starting up a new open circle in my town and she suggested I should come along. For me the idea was good on two fronts. 1. Because it would help me get out and socialise more which I really need to do and which would help with my anxiety (hopefully) and 2. Because I use to do circle years ago and kind of wanted to try it again.
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For those of you reading that’s not sure what a circle is, it is not a group of us sat in a circle on the floor chanting while candles burn around us in the dark. A circle when it comes to mediumship is simply a group of us sat on chairs in a circle trying to develop our medium skills. So this involves learning to talk to spirits, guides etc. A closed circle is simply a closed group of people while an open circle means anyone can come along.
So far it’s been both interesting and helpful. As I mentioned I’d done spiritual work many years before and I think (judged on feedback) that I was developing quite well, to the point where the woman running the circle thought I’d be ready to go up on stage. Unfortunately due to circumstances at the time I had to take time out from it and sadly never went back.
So now I have a chance to try again. For me the reason for doing it as much as I do like helping people is because I want to explore myself. I’ve always felt I’ve been on a personal voyage of discovery. Why I am like I am? What is my potential? Where do I fit in in this world? And of course having the skills to communicate with the dead is rather Jedi-ish.

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But the other up side of this is I get to see one of my best friends every week and chat as well as a couple of other people in the group. I’m still slightly shy around the ones I don’t know yet but it’s a friendly bunch and we have a good laugh along the way. My Facebook page has almost had daily requests lately for friend requests from other members in the group.
So far over the last few weeks we dealt with the introductions and practised some meditation, looked at how we might read people, working with colours and emotions and looked at spirit guides. Also we have all given a little mini reading to someone else in the group. Mine hasn’t really been that much but I’ve had something to give which is nice even if my heart is beating like hell from having to do so. With luck confidence will come in time.
And for those reading this and thinking ‘well it’s all bollocks isn’t it’. If you are then why are you reading this? Especially if you’ve got this far. But I’m not judgemental. While I believe it is possible to communicate with the deceased and that we have guides I do doubt my own abilities. As I give readings both now and in the past I’m always thinking am I just making this up? But so far everyone I’ve read for has taken what I’ve said (unless they’re just being kind) So I look forward to being able to keep this blog updated with how I’m coming on, any interesting things that come up and maybe even some of the things I’ve learnt.
And then there is also the part about overcoming my anxiety. Socialising with strangers is a little step for me, done it plenty of times before and it doesn’t take me long to settle in. Putting myself in the spotlight with ten or more people watching me is a larger step. One I know I can do but it just pushes me just that little bit more. Then there is expressing myself bit by bit among this group. This is more than just developing myself spiritually. This is in front of people I don’t know and in front of people I have known for years. If I can develop the confidence to do readings for people with others watching me then hopefully I’ll develop confidence in other areas. And this may even, for better or worse, come around quicker than I would have thought.
When I posted on Facebook recently about how I’d finally finished editing my novel and ready to print off for some people to read, she commented yes please. Given that the nature of the novel is rather personal to me this is a big thing for me. I initially ignored it but she mentioned it again at circle this week. There was no way of avoiding it. I had to do a quick edit for her copy as one of the characters is named and based after her and given that that character is involved in a sex scene I’d better change the name. But hopefully she’ll be opened minded to the contents of the story when she reads it. In a way putting this novel out there is a little bit like coming out so it is nerve wracking. Anything to do with hinting at my alternative lifestyle is nerve wracking.
This week we worked on Psychometry. That where you hold an object (that we had brought in) and try to connect with it. To tap into the history of the object and get a reading from it. I’ll admit it wasn’t my specialist subject and I didn’t get anything right.
Interestingly though we had also been asked to bring a red herring in as well and with the above in mind I took in a neck choker that I’d brought last year but couldn’t really wear as it was too tight. When it was picked from the tray by one of the circle I felt a little guilty that they wouldn’t get anything from it or if they did I’d have to tell them how they were wrong. My heart was beating throughout not only from the guilt but because of having to own up to the object. Surprisingly though many of the things she did come up with I could actually take. Of course I had to admit to owning the item in the end but if the group thought there was anything strange in this it wasn’t mentioned. Of course when my friend starts reading the book little things like the neck choker might clue her in.
Still I believe the universe or the force has a way of working things out so maybe this is how things are meant to go? Maybe something will come through for me that will give me some insight. If anyone is listening, Can I get a sign please?

 

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Trans Matters

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No not that kind!

 

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Ok this following piece is going to be a very personal one and will deal with issues of Trans Gender and cross dressing. If this is not your cup of tea (or you know me personally and think that this may be too much information, yes you!) then I would recommend going no further……..

Ok. Are you sure? Then we’ll begin….

There is four things that have always fascinated me. Doctor Who, the supernatural, exploration of the self (both psychological and philosophical) and fetishes. I really don’t know where the fascination for fetishes has come from. I remember reading a book in uni on it and just got engrossed in learning why certain fetishes appealed to people as they did. But my interested started a long time before that and maybe it was because of some of the fetishes that I enjoyed myself. Ones that I would often feel guilty about, as if it wasn’t normal. I’m not going to go into details about which fetishes I like or don’t like except one of them was cross dressing. I began to want to understand what made such things fetishes. Was it something inherent or caused by something in our childhood? Maybe it’s just my interest in psychology and philosophy wanting to know how people and the world think and work. Or maybe I just wanted to know I’m not the only one out there. That what I like does not make me abnormal.

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And as long as such things don’t affect other people then is there really any harm? What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. But what happens when it’s something more than that?. For over a year now I have been considering my gender identity. It no longer is simply just a fetish, something I do now and again but now an impact on my everyday life. Like many times before I have done research into transgenderism. I have read articles, watched You Tube videos and am an active member on a LGTB forum. Many of the You Tube videos I’ve watched have documented the tubers transition. I feel at the moment I’m in a position where I don’t know which way, if any, I want to go. It is a very confusing time for me as I swing from one feeling to the other. Or there’ll be times when I’m out somewhere and wished I’d gone more feminine or less.

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Sometimes I think that I would just like the chance to be out there for a short time and have considered drag act. Other times I think of if I want to actually start transitioning, begin medication and look towards surgeries. I’ve swung from thinking myself as a male to thinking of myself as wanting to be female and now lie somewhere in between counting myself for now as genderfluid. It’s gone from simply just dressing in clothes to trying out make up, wigs and I love doing photoshoots (even if they aren’t the best.) That is the other big thing for me. Would I pass? Could I pull off a feminine look. And it’s not just the look. The voice, the walk. They are all little tell tale signs of what gender someone is. And for me it’s not about wearing skirts out. I have women’s jeans and tops that overall could be seen more as gender neutral. Even if I was to simple go out as a cross dresser (something that seems to be less accepted then being trans) would I look good enough to be accepted or be stared at like I’m some sort of freak.

The novel I wrote is based around many of these themes and it has to be said that it was both helpful in allowing me to express and explore my own feelings but also brought up personal questions that I have had to face. True I have to admit I don’t feel the same every day, it is something that is ever changing which is one of the things that makes it so hard to decide what to do. Although I don’t really suffer from the dysphoria that other trans people experience, there was a time where I had to shave before I’d go out even if it would make me late and even going without earrings sometimes can feel wrong.

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But a few weeks ago I decided after four months of contemplating to final go and get my hair done and to have it dyed red, something that I’ve wanted to do but have held back. It is a bold move for me. Over the last year I have been pushing little bits such as painted nails and wearing earrings. No longer is the wearing of knickers something done for quick excitement but actually worn daily just because they feel right. In fact I recently figured out that I actually own more pairs of knickers then boxers! At work there are other little signs I’m giving out.

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Reaction to my hair have ranged from people liking it to downright piss taking. I’ve taken it in my stride, rolled with the banter, none of the comments were meant in a horrible way. It has also lead to the outcome that a couple of team mates remembered the character of Jessica Rabbit. Again I rolled with it and have now accepted the name as a nickname I use when playing. In many ways this takes away the power they have of taking the mickey because I’m not biting plus it’s putting the idea of a more feminine me out there. Personally I like it. It may not be a nickname (or alternative name) I would have chosen but never mind. Plus I have recently just started watching a You Tuber cross dresser called Jessica who has helped again to give me more confidence in myself. There does seem to be a nice symmetry there.

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But I want to get more involved in the community that I now feel part of and to help others. For example I make regular donations to Mermaids. But I want to do more. I want to help not just because that’s the kind of person I am but also because maybe by getting more involved will also help me figure myself out. I haven’t had much chance to get to Pride events and hopefully this is the year I’ll get chance to go. I’m also looking at a few other events coming up. I don’t know if my home town would ever do something but it would be great to be involved.
When I started this blog I wasn’t sure where I was going to take it. I knew I wanted to look at the heroes of my past and how they had affected me and from there it’s built up into my musings and my personal journey.

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When having my hair done my hairdresser told me to be who I want to be and fuck what anyone else thinks. To do what makes me happy. It’s good advice. My friend also told me something similar on her birthday night out. But to be someone who wants to stand up for peoples rights I guess one has to be brave enough to put themselves out there. I have to take on those aspects such as Robin Hood, the Doctor, Ace Rimmer and Batman that I’ve talked about. I’ve said previously about Supergirl, how in my novel she symbolised my main character’s realising their secret self and how Supergirl herself seems to be a metaphor for coming out as you true self as she does in the pilot episode of the series. I’ve mentioned about how maybe one day I’ll have my own Supergirl moment. Something that I would never have imagined myself doing.

This month is Pride month and this is it. It’s another little step but an important one.

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Musings on Batman

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Over the course of this blog I have mentioned many heroes that I have admired over the years. Heroes that I would like to aspire to due to the qualities they possess. Spider-man would be the most obvious superhero I’ve talked about. I loved the character as a kid. I read the comics, I watched the cartoon Spider-man and his amazing friends and the later 90’s cartoon. Along with the X-Men, they were the heroes for my young self and for a while I was more Marvel then DC.
In all honesty I’ve never really considered myself a Batman fan. I can’t recall reading any of the comics or watching the cartoons although I did use to watch repeats of the old 60’s series. I also remember going to watch Batman at the local cinema in 1989 and although I watched the four prequels I didn’t think they were that good. A couple of years ago I decided on a re watch of the films as I had them on DVD. I watched the first, fell asleep half way through the second and never went back. When the reboot came out I wasn’t that enthralled and it was a while before I watched both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I have never watched the third movie. Likewise although I thought Ben Affleck did a good enough job in Batman vs Superman I wasn’t a fan and still haven’t watched Justice League. I got through two series of Gotham before, due to Channel Five dropping it from their schedules, giving up and although I may go back to it sometime in the future I found it very dark and also long winded. Likewise apart from the more common elements associated with the character I know very little of the long history of the hero.
And yet thinking about it tonight I find Batman merchandise is the second most numerous items I own. (Of course number one is Doctor Who merchandise, if there was any doubt).
I have an action figure, a number of t-shirts which I wear more often than other items of clothing. A Batman floor mat and a large picture of the various Bat symbols over the years (presents from my Brother and family) and the Arkham series of games for the PlayStation. Recently I’ve just brought a pair of Batman earrings which I’m actually wearing right now along with a Bat symbol t-shirt. As such I’ve started to take more of an interest in the character recently watching the Killing Joke and Gotham by Moonlight.

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So what is it about this character that has such a hold on me despite my lack of interest in his films or comics? Well there is the bat symbol. Like Doctor Who’s Tardis it is instantly recognisable and in fact the symbol is even used to call Batman to action lighting up the skies of Gotham. True much of what I own is dominated by that symbol but not everything and the image of Batman himself looks cool. I would rally love a change to wear a Batman costume to a costume party or something because it looks so good.
What we have with Batman, and I’ve mentioned this before (see Secret Identities – Not just for superheroes), is a hero who hasn’t got superpowers. He is a hero who has worked to become a hero through learning martial arts and science and of course developing great detecting skills being dubbed the world’s greatest detective. There is something appealing about a vigilante who takes on criminals just using the skills he’s learnt and not some power he has endowed with.
This is in some way the reason I like Arrow apart from his skill with a bow. I came to Arrow through watching the Flash and I think that season one is one of the best. It has Oliver Queen just going up against criminals’ way before Meta humans, magicians, aliens or alternate Earth Nazi’s. There was a sense of realism to this first series. Rather like Hawkeye in the Avengers when we see Green Arrow up against a super villain their skills seems rather lightweight compared to speedsters, ancient Gods and magic users.
Batman as well I think works better when against ordinary villains such as the Joker, Riddler and Ra Al Ghul. Put him with super beings too often and he can seem the weakest link although there are some interesting stories that explores those themes.

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I also love looking at the philosophy and psychology behind the character himself. We all know the tragedy that led him to take up the mantle of crime fighter but there is also how that affects him until it is unclear whether he is truly Bruce Wayne or Batman. It reminds me of a quote I used for my own novel. Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be. While I was writing my novel and working on the themes of identity it was the complexity of Batman that was in the back of my mind.
So what we get is a very dark complex character (well if you ignore the 60’s series that is) who still doesn’t cross that line where he would intentionally kill a villain. Whether he is seen as a vigilante hiding from the police or on call whenever they need him, he has one mission and that is to help save his city. Despite any psychological issues that he has, despite any limitations he is a person who is ready to step up to the fight when needed. He may not be a role model to me but it seems there are still some things that I can take from the character.Batman-4

 

Untitled Drunken Musings

 

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It’s quarter past twelve on Saturday night. 03/06/18 to be precise and I’ve just got in. All in all in’s been a hell of a night. It’s not a post I was planning to blog and it’s thrown my schedule out a little. It should have been a Batman themed one with a blog on how I’ve joined a new mediumship circle to be the next one I wrote. But this night has prompted an unscheduled piece. One which I think needs to be posted sooner more than later but also ties in with my previous post on Ace Rimmer.
I’ve been out on the town. It’s my friends eighteenth and she’s invited me out. It’s a night I’ve been looking forward to although she and her boyfriend are the only ones I will know. Flashback to earlier in the evening when I’m getting ready to go out. Baring this month pride month. I’ve already ordered some rainbow laces. Yet I hesitate on getting ready. Do I wear earrings? Do I dress on the more slightly feminine side or more manly? In the back of my head is the question will I get the chance to pull? It’s not a question of worrying what people will think of me but more an issue of if it will effect any chances tonight.
I’ve had a quick tidy up around the flat today and hidden the more questionable items of my personality away. You never know.

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The night goes well. A couple of pints followed by many cocktails. I feel relaxed around the people I don’t know, my friend’s family and friends. Her mum even offers me a drink, a thanks for looking out for her daughter. I guess I’ve been mentioned before.
But something happens towards the middle of the night. It’s about ten and we’ve been out a few hours. There are some attractive women out tonight, one of the group is lined up nicely with another. I’m slightly jealous, yeah I want them to get together but I feel left out. My friend is constantly kissing her boyfriend. And the girl serving behind the bar I find attractive but she is too young.
But in my slightly intoxicated state I realise something. A fact. I’m going home alone tonight. It’s likely I’m going wake up in the morning alone and feel depressed about it. The girls around me are too young for me and I know my time out on a scene like this has come to an end. Tonight is almost like a flashback, a reunion. It’s like when Doctor Who has an anniversary special and old Doctors come back. They’re older, their time has come and gone and although it’s a nice nostalgic trip it’s a one off remembrance of the old days. I remember past days of glory when I’d be out on a Friday and Saturday night until the early hours of the morning nightclubbing it away.
Ok I feel slightly depressed about this. For a moment I want to go home and call it a night. But on the other hand there is something liberating about it. I know I’m going to be going home alone. Although I’ve seen girls that have peeked my interest I know any chance with them are non-existent. There’s no expectation for me tonight. I can go with the flow and not worry about what I say or do. It’s not a totally great feeling. I would still love to hold someone close to me, to have someone kiss me, those strings of passion whether or not they actually leads somewhere. Even the scary possibility that I’d wake up next to someone I hardly know in the morning but knowing it had followed a night of sex. It’s not so much I’m passed it but the fact that for me this isn’t a scene where someone like me is going to connect with someone else any more.

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Luckily I stick around. Maybe it was just the drink effecting me, maybe I just decide to go with the flow but more than anything it’s because this is my friends night and she wants me there and by the state of her she needs me there. She’s reached that state!! You know the one where the drink is making her tearful and regretful. Where she thinks she is a bad person and people hate her. I remind her that she is great and I remind her how she has been a great friends that has always stood by me, supported me. She wants to read my novel as soon as I can print it off. She is the one that encouraged me to get my hair dyed red. Have I mentioned I’ve had my hair dyed red? Most people despite a bit of banter have been ok with it, only Friday night did a couple of people go over the top with taking the piss about it. But my friend she has been there for me and as I quietly tell her all this she hugs me and rather more loudly then I would like mentions how great my hair is and how if I want to paint my nails and wear makeup then fuck what anyone else says. Yeah thanks M***. But in all seriousness it makes me feel better for who I am.

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It’s gone eleven and the group is now leaving. Her friends and family have lifts home. Her boyfriend and I grab food from the kabab shop and between us we manage to walk her home. Leaving them I walk back home eating my burger. I live in town. I could have got my food and been home within two minutes but I get my friends safely home. It’s something I have always done. Another flashback to fifteen years ago when I’d be out with my female friends, (I also used to be with female friends more than male ones. Maybe that was a sign) making sure they got home safe before I headed back, usually alone to my own flat. I guess somethings don’t chance, just people. I feel better about myself because A. I’ve only had a simple burger without chips and not a large pizza or something as I’m on a diet and B. I’ve celebrated my friends eighteenth and I’ve got her home safe. I’m thought of by people as someone who looks out for people. Maybe someone went home tonight thinking ‘what a guy ‘about me. Although given some of the comments I got tonight they might also have thought ‘what a girl’. It doesn’t matter. The depression I’m starting to feel now and will hit me forcefully in the morning will also pass and I hope that I’ll remind myself that despite my problems I’m a good friend and that I have good friends out there that also look out for me. And hopefully I’ll also forget that I resolved that this was my last swan song out drinking around town next time the opportunity comes up to go out.

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Oh god. It’s five thirty in the morning. I’m wide awake with a cup of tea and no hangover. No surprise there, I never get them and for some reason I always wake up early although this is sooner than even I expected. But there is something different. I’m not here cringing at anything I said or did last night, which given that my anxiety usually makes me question any social interaction is rather nice. There’s no bitter disappointment that I came home alone. Sure it would have been nice after a year and a half but never mind. I already have enough on my plate. No all I have is memories of a great night out and the knowledge that I’ll have the opportunity to take the piss out of my friend sometime in the near future.

 

 

Arnold J Rimmer

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For those who don’t know Arnold Judas Rimmer is a character from the show Red Dwarf. In the first episode he is killed in the same explosion that kills all the rest of the crew, bar one, but is brought back as a hologram.
The character of Rimmer, played by Chris Barrie, is as fellow crew member Dave Lister puts it a “you’re a gutless, spineless, gormless, direction-less, neurotic, underachieving, sniveling, cowardly pile of smeg. No offence, but get real, man; most eunuchs have got more balls than you.” A physical coward blaming his upbringing for the way he is.
But sometimes little things will break though that show he does have the potential to be a better person. He comes up with a plan that saves the crew at the end of series ten and he sacrifices his chance at a new life in order to save a woman he has just met even if he can’t believe it himself.
But never is it clearer what his potential could have been then with the appearance of Ace Rimmer, an Arnold Rimmer from another dimension. Brave, charismatic, smart and all round magnificent guy. And this Rimmer is so different due to one decision made in the past. Ace due to the embarrassment of being kept back a year ends up buckling down and fighting back to become the guy he is. This ties into my blog on being me about how different I myself may have been if something in my past changed and how it is our past that makes us who we are.

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When Ace Rimmer first appeared on our screen I loved the character. After all who wouldn’t want to be like this guy? It’s not until a recent re-watch of Dimension Jump that brought back to my mind how I would have liked to have been like him and slight feelings of regret that I hadn’t. But like I’ve done with the heroes I’ve mentioned so far I looked deeper into the character. He’s smart but that’s because he’s studied. He’s brave because he’ll do what’s needed without thought for himself, putting others first. And he’s modest with his achievements bestowing praise on the people around him while playing down any credit to himself.
Well I can say that over my life I’ve studied. I’ve gone to college and university. And even away from them I’ve looked into things that interest me. My job at the moment isn’t exactly the ideal job but I spend my time learning everything I can about it. Five years ago I couldn’t imagine being the kind of person stuck inside a generator trying to work out how to fix it but that’s what I do. I may not be saving universes but I’m doing my best to get units ready to go out on hire. Ok I may be replaceable but I am still a valued member of the team.
And I’m one of those who also put others first no matter if it’s an inconvenience to me. Late night pickups, dropping everything at the drop of a hat to go out and help someone out. As for the modest bit, well that might be something I do have to work on.
So maybe I’m not so far removed from Ace Rimmer as I first thought. Ok I might not have the handsome dashing looks and sex appeal unfortunately but the basic character traits are there in some form. To look at the difference between the two Rimmers we can see what happens when one spends time simply blaming people and circumstances for the way they are but failing to do anything about it and when one sets out to be the best they can be. And the potential is always there.
Ace returns in to later episodes. Briefly when Arnold Rimmer gets all his bitterness and resentment sucked from him he ends up as Ace showing that it really is a case of overcoming the bad habits of a lifetime to achieve your potential.
In his final appearance Ace returns wounded. Not the original Ace but another one who has took on the mantle after the original Ace had been killed. He wants Arnold Rimmer to take over, to become the new Ace. Something which Rimmer believes himself to be incapable of but in the end, after some false starts he goes out into the universe to try his best.
It’s never too late to try and be the best person you can. To learn what is holding you back and overcoming it. Standing up when needed instead of running for the nearest escape pod. To be there for people when needed. To unleash the wild power that lurks inside you. To be the cougar running free and unfettered through the mountains.

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Musings on Me

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It’s funny what pops into your mind on a drive home. I began to think about what makes me ME. What set it off was thinking about an episode of Doctor Who. Heaven Sent (2015) In this episode regarded by many fans as one of the best of Capidi’s run the Doctor finds himself in a strange castle, works out how to escape but is killed before he is able to. Luckily he is able to survive longer to reset the teleportation device that brought him there before dying thus allowing another copy of himself to arrive in the castle and have to start again eventually (after billions of years) breaking down a wall and escaping. One of the things that was discussed on the Gallifrey Base forum following this episode was the question of the Doctor’s age (A subject that has been debated over many years) Did this now mean the Doctor was now billions of years old or was the Doctor that finally escaped just a couple of days older then he was in the previous episode having been reset by the transporter.
The whole thing raises the question of whether this is really still the Doctor, the original or just a copy with all the memories of the original that first died in the castle. And what about all the times before hand when the Doctor has used teleporters. Is the person that comes out the other end the ‘same’ person that went in? What about all those Starfleet officers from Star Trek. Did the original Captain Kirk simply disappear into nothing and get replaced by an exact copy. One of the Bernice Summerfield novels (a Doctor Who spin off) Down deals with this issue having one character scared of any kind of transport believe it will be the end of the real her.

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So all this was going on in my head leading me off on other thoughts. One of the questions I’ve seen many times on the Empty Closets forum is how do I know if I’m trans? With one answer being if you could change into your ideal body of the opposites sex would you do it? My answer has most of the time been yes I would. But then I have issues with my body anyway so why wouldn’t I jump at the chance to be placed into another body if it’s how I would ideally see myself as female. For the record we are probably talking Renée Felice Smith or Caity Lotz or Michelle Hendley. If this magical device was around of course I’d use it.
But the point that sticks in my mind when imagining this scenario is that if it was somehow possible to change my body or be placed into a body that was female then would it not also be possible to be place in the ideal male body. And again yes given the choice I would swop bodies for one that looked like Stephen Amell or Tom Ellis.

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And the point that crossed my mind was if I was able to do any of this would I still be ME. Because I am made up of my experiences and act accordingly. If I suddenly was more confident in my looks would my attitude change? Would I do things I normal wouldn’t? Is what makes me who I am simply my thoughts, my soul or is also connected to the body I inhabit?
Let’s look at the scenario of this girl I like. One of the things holding me back is my insecurity about my looks. Would see go for someone like me. Am I too old looking? Not hunky enough? Wrong colour hair? Fairly shallow stuff but its true many people go for people they find attractive. (I know it’s not always about looks) If I looked like Tom Ellis would I feel more confident at asking her out and also would I actually be more successful in this new body? And if I looked like Caity Lotz would I have less chance then I do now being the same sex. Would I even bother trying or just end up being a ‘girl’ friend hanging around with her. Already we can see that changing bodies would make me act differently than the Me sitting here right now.

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Another scenario that has always kicked around in my head is what would it be like if I suddenly found myself leaping back into my body of when I was say fourteen, back at school but with all the memories I had built up over the years? Would I change how I did things back then? Of course I bloody would. Johnny Hates Jazz had a song called Turn Back the Clock. While it sums up about how I feel about getting older the lines about not wanting to change a single day can go right out the window. I probably had even less confidence as a teenager then I do now. If I knew what I know now of course I would use it to my advantage. I could retry to do all those things I never did and regret missing out on. I could change my career path, join the police force like I wanted to.
But then once again that would change the person I am now. I have been shaped by the people and events of my life. Would I really make changes to my life if it meant that I never met some of the people that had meant so much to me over the years? Sure some of those people have brought me heartache and taken me to the darkest times in my life but there are many memories there. Precious ones. And which changes would I make? Ones that made me more popular with girls, a better career. Or maybe I would have started transitioning at an early age. Now that would be a life changing direction.
Either way none of those people, for better or worse, would be the same person that is sitting here now in a café typing out these words. I am unique just like everyone else in the world. The Doctor once said, “A man is the sum of his memories.” I guess that’s what makes me, ME.

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