Today I’m getting naked in front of you, friends, readers, strangers, passer-by…
What’s in a name?
A name is an identity, your business card, what distinguishes you from others (Sorry to all the Emmas and Lohans who are five per class!). But a name can also be a coat, a mask, a glass wall between you and others.
(this gif is everything)
Unless it’s the police or the dentist (or the pub when you’re like me and look 12), you won’t be asked for a personal ID, so you can create, or recreate yourself and pick a brand new name. There are a hundred reasons, one being you’re being chased by a dragon eater and you are fleeing to protect your baby. One being your name is too heavy to carry, so you want to start anew. Internet allows you to do this. I took advantage of it and used a nickname I had received from someone special.
A year a half ago, I was unable to say my name was Meggy.
Here I am again, revealing more about myself! Let’s go for some history and non-interesting ramblings.
Growing up, I did not know who I was, neither did I know who I was supposed to be. Because I was convinced I was supposed to be the little girl, the young girl, the teenager, people wanted me to be. I was different depending on the person I was with. Each and everyone of those people had expectations from me, I don’t blame them. I just couldn’t figure out who I was, so I relied on their words. Shy, quiet, too skinny, excellent pupil. I let adults define me, but also my peers.
I was bullied from elementary school to high school, from the name calling, the pushing on the road when cars were near enough for me to feel them brush me, to the illegal videos of me taken without my knowledge and posted on a blog where everyone could comment and have fun. (Yes, the cops were involved.) I thought this was all that Meggy would ever be. The weak, poor, and unpopular girl no one wanted in their sports team.
If you haven’t cried at all, you are not into the story, come back later! :p
Then Meggy found her way to university. She made a bad call by trying to create different bounds with people who had judged her years ago and were supposed to be family. It left her dropping out of Law School after only two months and she discovered the joy that is agoraphobia. It took a year and a half, but a miracle happened (and her mother!) and Meggy got better, not thanks to the doctors!
She discovered she was stronger than she thought, she started yoga and discovered her body had nothing to be ashamed of. She was the kind girl in the top 5 of the class chatting with everyone. Okay, so, she still had issues with her chin (major complex!) but she was happy. She was twenty, the world was hers, and she thought she had found herself.
But life and its stupid sense of humor did it like in the movies; they took a chair and threw it into the glass of the giant bubble of happiness Meggy had created for herself. Emergency traveling back to France in bad shape, happiness gone again after two years and a half.
This is when Meggy decided she couldn’t do it. She did not have what it took to face life and all the terrible things it had in store for her. This was 2014. She let depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia take control and let go of all the wonderful things she had proven herself she was able to do.
Come December 2015. A book. A blog. A new hobby? But she did not want to jinx it with her name, she did not want the skin of who she was to come and ruin what could be a fun thing. So she chose a name close to her heart. Donna. Fierce, resilient, witty, and not-taking-shit-from-anyone Donna. They say anonymity is okay online, right?
Will is a bit extreme here but… Donna took the leap and started blogging. The grey days finally had a purpose, and she quickly fit into this world of books and passionate people. She was not rejected, she was appreciated for who she was, she had no past but was creating a present, and a path to a future.
I have said already, but this blog has saved me in many ways. Keeping me busy, keeping me talking to fantastic people despite being stuck at home, keeping me living vicariously through books. Now, this blog has also brought me a new career path!
During my interview this week (for a publishing degree if you are new here!), I was asked if working under a pseudonym would be a problem for me if I intended to keep working with the people I knew. I said no. I believed it when I said it. But this innocent question has been nagging me since then.
I am Donna. I am the lover of all things creepy, the insomniac, the bra size according to my friend Dee, the sometimes fun girl you can talk to on Twitter, the Orenbabies addict, the not-always confident reviewer, the happy listener to Kat’s TV show recommendations.
Last night it struck me.
I have never hidden who I was on the Internet or pretended to be someone I am not, and I was accepted. Donna, Meggy, whatever the name, the person behind it has her place around here (I hope!)
The name Donna was vital when I thought I needed extra help to be myself, and you all proved me I did not have to. You showed me it was okay to be crazy and passionate and honest. This is me being honest. I have learned who I was, and discovered who I wanted to be. Donna is me, a part of me. But the entire package is called Meggy. And Meggy has made peace with her past, with herself, and is ready to face the world thanks to the support and love she gets every day.
It’s time to give Meggy her place back, now that the Donna part of her has proven that there are so much more to Meggy than her past, what people thought about her, and what she has been through. Donna is not stronger, she is a side of her that pushed Meggy to realize all she had been through had made her stronger.
Now I sound totally crazy, I admit it, and if you’ve read until the end, you’re a friend!
I’ll be changing my name on the blog and everywhere else on the Internet, my picture will let you know it’s me, and I hope Meggy won’t lose anything by coming out of the closet, for good this time. My therapist said it was time to create my identity. Well, nice to meet you, I’m Meggy Roussel.
PS: I still love and hold dear all mentions and signed books to Donna Roussel (can’t believe it happened!), because she’s a part of me and will forever be. But I need to be true to myself from now on, and stop being afraid of being Meggy.
PS2: I followed the wonderful idea of a great blogger to come out of the name closet! Thank you for showing me the way, Jen!