I’ve been feeling overwhelmed a lot lately. This is a pretty common condition for me as an extreme introvert with clinical depression, and it used to lead to self-doubt, which would inevitably lead to self-loathing, which of course led directly to the Pit of Despair.
Eventually, with the right meds, learning to accept and love myself the way I am, and a lot of Zen practice, I arrived at a point where 99% of the time I can derail my conditioned mind before it sends me into a downward spiral, and even stop it at the “self-doubt” point.
But before I found Zen and the right meds and before I had lived long enough to learn to love myself, there was Star Trek.
TOS went off the air four years after I was born, but it went immediately into syndication, so I grew up watching reruns whenever they were on. In 1972 I even made my dad take me to an auto show – neither of us were auto show people – just so I could meet Captain Kirk. (When he signed his name “Bill Shatner” I was devastated and threw the autograph away. I’m strangely proud of 7-year-old me for standing up to reality like that, even though it didn’t seem to notice.)
When Next Generation premiered I was ecstatic and never missed an episode. Deep Space Nine left me conflicted and when it was on the air I confess I became bored with the political machinations and quit watching. Voyager was problematic because at the time I was one of those women who hated women – don’t worry, I’ve come to my senses – and Janeway annoyed me. And I found Enterprise, sadly, dull as proverbial dishwater.
A couple of decades later, when I was going through an extended period of misery including divorce, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and a sense of isolation that was a tiny whisker away from suicidal, I decided to revisit the entire canon, starting from the beginning.
What I found was acceptance, respect for “otherness,” celebration of diversity, and a positive vision of humanity’s future. I found an entire universe of beings with different beliefs and abilities, generally willing to see things from the other guy’s POV and put their shoulders to the wheel together.
I found hope.
This blog is my attempt to share that hope with other people.
My original thought was that this blog would focus specifically on the Zen of Trek, but I realized that was too limiting, especially since (for reasons I can understand, if not agree with), there are actually people in the world who don’t love Star Trek (I know, right?). My goal is to promote understanding, empathy, and compassion – for ourselves as well as others.
We’re all in this together, and our differences can make us stronger if we let them, but the change begins with us.