The other night, DH2U and I were discussing potential television shows for us to stream on Hulu/Netflix/network sites, etc. A couple of the ones I suggested were sci fi, and I was surprised when they were vetoed. We are both geeky, so this seemed odd. I had to ask why. It turns out he doesn’t enjoy the whole alternative universe concept. That shocked me because I’ve always been fascinated by the concept, and if I think it, it’s right … right?
Ever since I was introduced to the concept with Quantum Leap (Oh, Boy!), I’ve been hooked.
Hillary and I watched Sliding Doors together years ago, which shows two worlds in parallel. I loved it! One of my early blog posts referenced Mr. Destiny, and of course there is It’s a Wonderful Life, which I watch every year. Alternative universes are everywhere … at least in my world!
One of my college professors, the one that gave me the Adventure Girl moniker, said that each time we get to a crossroad in life, down the path we did not take is a murdered self. That’s a little gruesome. I prefer to think of that life as a build your own adventure; in some other universe, I took that path.
There are so many of those diverging trails that might exist somewhere: the one where I was brave enough to tackle organic chemistry in college and pursued a budding interest to become a dietitian; the one where I took the job in the north of England instead of moving back to the States; the one where I skipped dance practice the day I hurt my knee; and all the Sliding Doors type events that now seem inconsequential but might have been dramatically different if I’d caught the train, missed the light, etc.
Of course for me this is all a philosophical exercise that I find interesting. I love my life, and I know that where I am now is the result of a lifetime’s worth of decisions – big and small. Even if I could go back to make different decisions, I wouldn’t be able to avoid the pain. Perhaps the pain I had, but there would be others.
The other take on alternative universes is that we all end up back in the same place anyway. Most recent example I’ve seen of this has been the movie Inception. (Thanks, Charlie Hudson, for your blog post reminding me of this emphasis in the movie). Minor spoiler – one of the themes of this film is that there are underlying threads in each of our lives that our deviations of course can’t alter. Oooh … the question of free will!
Considering how many books, movies and television shows hold this theme, I can’t be the only one who enjoys this concept. Not even in my own delusional world can that seem plausible!
What is your favorite alternative universe story? Am I just a big geek?