Friday, April 5, 2013

TNG: Family

Obviously Worf is a Klingon. I mean, he kind of stands out. But, did you know he was raised by humans? Russian humans? I'm not sure why, but that seems pretty appropriate. The Rozhenkos took Worf in after his parents were killed in the battle of Khitomer. They raised him as their own but he always seemed out of place, always longing for a culture they could not give him.

In the episode, "Family," the Rozhenkos visit the Enterprise after they return from their battle with the Borg. They're worried about him. They want to talk to him but he's typically clammed up. Finally, they speak to Guinan who informs them that Worf comes to Ten Forward, as many homesick officers do, and stares homeward. Only, he's not staring toward the Klingon home world of Qo'noS; he's looking lovingly toward Earth.

While I was watching this episode (for, I think, the bazillionth time) and thinking about family, and home, I thought a lot about how, when I was little, I used to fantasize about being adopted. I think this is something a lot of kids do. Your parents are frustrating or they let you down or you don't like your house or your room or whatever and you begin imagining that your real parents or someone they've left to care for your incredible destiny will come and take you away from all this. You're Luke Skywalker. You're Harry Potter. You're Superman.

Only, my beautiful foundling fantasies never lasted very long. I look like some Soviet science experiment replicant of my parents. There's absolutely no way I could ever seriously question my lineage. So, instead, I turned toward the future. I thought, "Someday, I won't live here. Someday, I'll be gone from this town. Someday. Someday. Someday."

I grew up in Kentucky and North Carolina. Two sets of mountains. The low bluegrass hills of Kentucky and the steep, misty crags of North Carolina. I've always loved the mountains but I tried to look past their jagged horizon toward my future life--the one where I wasn't some scew-up kid who didn't fit in.

Then, in 2010, I moved to Los Angeles with my husband. I cried the night before we left, terrified at the enormity of it all, at the thought of this monster of a move--crossing three thousand miles in a Honda hatchback we'd started calling, "our shuttle." When we got here, though, and doors started opening and opportunities to do the things we'd always dreamed of formed right in front of us, I understood that we'd found our real life.

I realized today that our life here, in this huge, bustling, crazy place, is kind of our Enterprise.  This is where the adventure happens. This is where we will explore who we are. We will do the work that matters to us and fight the important battles and realize our goals. We are doing what we love and it is paying off. But, every morning, when the sun is rising, I look east. I'm looking toward all those tiny towns, those huge mountains, those rolling hills, and those two strange, imperfect humans who I could never, ever possibly deny are my parents. I'm looking toward the places and people who, whether I loved it or hated it, made me who I am today.

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  1. This blog gives me Tears & Smiles.

    .... soooooooo glad you made the journey out there AshleyRose,
    so very proud of you for being brave and crossing the1000s of miles with only what you could cram into the shuttle. So happy for you to have found a great husband to venture forth with you. So glad you both are going for dreams and working hard towards it all. And when the sun goes down in the west I know it will pass over you and Scott in 3 hours from my time each day, and it smiles blessings down you both in a world so foreign to us back east, but a world where possibility is a good place to dwell.
    love love love,

    1. ^This right here^ is why I love/miss/look toward my mom. Thanks mamma!

  2. I remember being surprised at finding out Worf was raised by humans. He just acted so Klingon! I found it hard to believe that he wouldn't have more human personality traits, given his upbringing.

  3. This is a beautiful post, AshleyRose! Absolutely gorgeous.

  4. I don't think I ever saw that episode, and now I really, really want to go find it. Maybe I'll appreciate my own family a little more.


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