It's amazing how life changes in so many ways and what in your life makes you evaluate that change. What has made me take a look back... has been the Pokémon animé. That's as geektacular as this post gets I promise, as over the last 9 months I have had quite a large and wonderful wave of nostalgia thanks to this cartoon.
See, about 8-12 years ago, roughly between the ages of 13 and 17, I watched the Advanced Generation Series of Pokémon. During these past 9 months CITV have been showing a repeat run of these episodes, one episode each weekday with today's final episode concluding that series. What I originally watched over a span of 4 years has this time around been crammed into 9 months. It's been a great ride and I can't believe it's over already. I remember in January (when it started) thinking, "Wow, if they show all 191 episodes, it'll end in like October" and here we are somehow.
So, watching the show this time around has made me think a lot about the past in three ways:
1) All that happened and changed during those 4 years.
2) All that has happened and changed between the last time I saw it and this time.
3) All that has happened and changed in these last 9 months.
Firstly, when watching certain episodes I would think, "I remember when I first watched this, I had a football match that day" or "I remember going to my mate's house and telling him about this one afterwards." Then I would think about other memories of my football team or all the times with that particular friend. With each episode I have thought a lot about what my life was like when I first watched it and overall have seen how I grew as a person during those formative years – physically, emotionally, spiritually and so on. I have been reminded of the friends that have come and gone, the schools I went to, the things I did, the lessons I learned and so much more.
After that, I have thought about how much has changed since then. How I am so different now from how I was then... mostly in good ways. Physically I was a short kid but am now a tall adult and now I need glasses. Emotionally there are things I am less upset by now or things that bring me more joy than they once did, even foods I didn't used to like. Spiritually I am more mature now (though I still like to think I was quite mature then) and have a better understanding of the world. I was also very shy, whereas now I find it a lot easier to talk to people and am able to just be myself almost immediately with people. Even the internet went from being a treat that I would use briefly every so often to a necessary part of every day. I have been through so much in all of that time – both good and bad: the schools, the people who have entered and exited my life and of course, all of my voice acting adventures so far... it's overwhelming even to start thinking about it all now.
Finally, I think back to January when this repeat showing started and how even in just these 9 months things have changed so much – the progress I have made with my life and career... and how it's almost Christmas again!
I even see big parallels between the journey of the characters in the show and my own journey in life – all of the people they meet, relationships they build and friends they make who come and go; the many obstacles they face; the battles they win... the ones they don't and how the journey is endless.
It's no secret that I love cartoons and this is just one of the many reasons why. This series of 191 old episodes over these past 9 months have given me a revitalising and riveting retrospective... and it's been brilliant!