Mr Spock is dead.
When I was young I hated myself. Sometimes so much so that sometimes I couldn’t get up to go to school. I would pretend to sleep until my mum left, and then I would lay on the couch and cry. Drifting in and out of sleep, I felt so alone. I had a handful of friends, but I couldn’t feel their friendship. I felt useless, worthless, disgusting. I felt like a lower life-form, and if I couldn’t stand myself, how could anyone else?
Every day at 1 o’clock, if I was awake, I would watch reruns of the original Star Trek. Immediately following was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved that the science portrayed was somewhat plausible for humans to create. I loved that everyone aboard the USS Enterprise was a family. My family. The women were smart, the aliens were equals, and the plot excited me in ways that I didn’t always understand. The idea that humans could evolve so far as to reach a peaceful, naive, state was immensely appealing to the little girl who felt constantly at war with herself. Star Trek made me happy. Oftentimes it was the only happiness I had in a day. I believe that subconsciously I bonded with the show because it illustrated the potential I didn’t know that I had. The fanciful voyage through space was a way for me to achieve my potential vicariously through the characters that I loved.
Mr Spock is dead.
Upon hearing this news I felt a plethora of emotions. Sadness, disbelief, thankfulness, more sadness. Leonard Nimoy’s death removed the shroud of immortality that i, and so many others, placed over our fictional families. In our minds, these icons do not age, they do not die- they can’t. We need them. The reality, of course, is that just like us, these titans are mortal. They are not immune to illness, accidents, or death. The problem with that is, is that with every person we lose, a piece of our safety net goes with them. There will come a day when they have all passed, and we are left stripped of the only thing we’ve come to identify with.
I am a giant boulder. In order to come out from the shadow and shake off the moss that I have collected, I tied balloons to myself. I floated along beautifully, aimlessly, until a huge crow descended upon me and popped one balloon. I lost some altitude, but I kept going. The crow made more frequent visits, and soon I was no longer a travelling boulder, but a damp, pathetic rock. Back where I started, silently collecting moss.
For me and everyone like me, Star Trek was a source of emotional support, companionship, camaraderie, and hope. The hope that one day we will no longer be judged for our eccentricities, our lack of confidence, our uncool interests. Most importantly, the hope that some day we will find the value in ourselves- even if we are the only ones who see it.
Leonard Nimoy spoke often of self-acceptance, being happy with what one has, and to appreciate the life you’ve been given. It is up to all of us now to perpetuate his optimism, to be kind to others, to enjoy our lives without fear of how others perceive us. We are all made of the same star dust, we are all valuable, and if we all pull together, we can crew this ship into the future with confidence and wisdom. We are apart of something so much bigger than we realise, but every life inside of that matters, and has an impact on the way the future will be lived.
I am immensely heart broken over the loss of Leonard Nimoy. He made being smart cool, and gave me some of the best life advice I’ve ever been given. Goodnight to the adopted grandpa of so many wandering souls. We love you, and we will forever hold you in our hearts.