I believe that every person is a combination of all the things he’s had and of all the things he is having. I am all the schools I’ve been to, all the friends I have made in them, and all the teachers I have learned from. I am all the songs I play repeatedly in my head and all the movies I cannot get tired of talking about. I am all my friends combined, and all the friends I have lost. I am all the essays I have written, and all the stories I have not. I am all my thoughts that I have spoken, and all the words I cannot say.
Think of it this way – for me to be born the way I was born, and for me to grow the way I have grown, I had to undergo a carefully constructed path. A day, a minute, or even a second too early or too late, and I would be so different. The reason why we are all unique is not just because of our experiences. It is because of our decisions, because of where and when and why we made them. I am who I am now, not just because of what happened to me, but also because of how, where, when, and why they happened.
But one absolute turning point in my life was when I watched this television show. Ironically, out of all the heart-wrenching events that have occurred in my life, it was the experience of sitting down with my eyes glued on the screen that turned my whole perspective in life, my very being, inside out. That show is Doctor Who.
Doctor Who has taught me a lot. It has changed me as a person. From being an ordinary antisocial student, I turned into a social butterfly with colourful TARDIS blue wings that would attract a Doctor Who fan from a ten mile radius. It has taught me the reality of life. I consider the Doctor’s fictional journeys through time and space as a part of my experience, for what do you call such a mind-blowing event in your life – real or not – other than an “experience”?
It taught me that I don’t have a time machine in my backyard. A Time Lord alien doesn’t exist and he won’t come knocking at your door 80 years from now, asking you, “Hey, do you want to meet your friends again? Want to apologize to someone or forgive someone you weren’t able to before? Want to say ‘I love you’ during those times in the past when you didn’t?”
I cannot step into a time machine and redo all the things I did. It taught me that I have two options: change what I cannot accept, or accept what I cannot change. It taught me to live in the present, when before, I would postpone things until the very last moment.
Doctor Who has defined me, out of all the things out there. I am now the “generous-friend-when-it-comes-to-birthdays” because I always give them a special surprise. I am now “the brave one” because I am able to say what many cannot – to their parents, to their classmates, to their teachers and to their friends. I give them these little moments because ever since watching that show, I have been telling myself that I do not have all the time in the universe, especially with them.
Within a span of around a hundred episodes, I stopped being fearful of the night, because I was too fond of the stars to be bothered by the darkness. I was able to completely remove the doubt within me. I am no longer afraid I am not living. I am now afraid I am not living enough. So I do what I can, with the best that I have.
I am sure this confidence, bravery, humility and wisdom would not have existed if I hadn’t watched that one show. I wouldn’t have watched that show if this clear, constructed path didn’t introduce me to it ever since the beginning of time. I am all my experiences combined, for without even the simplest details, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
So, to answer my question at the beginning, Nicole…who? Well, that’s easy. Nicole Garcia.