I wish I had a holodeck.
I would take the time, now that I am struggling to make sense of my life, to go back. I don’t want to relive my life or change it in any significant way – at least I don’t think I do – but I would love the opportunity to slow it down and examine what was happening at the different stages of my life before moving onto the next step. I could do that in a holodeck. I could say “computer, run program” and watch what was happening to the little girl I was – the one who could feel the suffocating pressure of her mother’s neediness before the age of 5. I could walk around the room and take in different perspectives, maybe see things I had never seen before. I could freeze a scene or slow it down. I could watch it over and over again, like an athlete figuring out a play so she knows her strategy for the next game.
I would take my time on that holodeck, feeling my feet under me in one stage of life before I move on to the next. I’d try to watch myself with compassion, and I’d seek to better understand how the pieces have come together to compose who I am now. I’d try to let myself feel all those emotions my holographic self would show me I have learned to cover with cellophane so that I can be seen but not exposed.
I’d like a chance to look hard at my life. To go to those deep, dark places and set myself free. But that’s already happening, isn’t it? It’s happening on the page. Something amazing comes to life when I pick up my pen and put it to paper. I am able to do all those things I imagine a holodeck would provide: I can run scenes and explore different perspectives. I can spend as much time as I want at one stage of my life before moving on to the next. And the best part is, I don’t have to wait for a holodeck to be invented. No technology is required.
Elizabeth L. Kinghorn is a mom, a writer and an educator. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.