Vivienne Veronica Vs. Lisa Marie

Names matter. Names are symbolic, can set tone, start a conversation. A rose is a rose by any other name, but we may feel differently about that rose and it may smell rather different by another name. Perceptions change when names change. Names are part of our identity.

Last year I changed my first and middle name, from Lisa Marie to Vivienne Veronica. I love both names. Vivienne Veronica is so va va voom. It has elegance and femininity. I chose Veronica because of St Veronica who gave Christ her veil to wipe His face, and His Face left an imprint in her veil. It was around this time that headcovering was becoming important to me, so this name had significance. I also liked it because it was a four syllable religious name ending in “ca” just like Angelica after my daughter. I chose Vivienne with the French spelling because I loved the delicate look. Vivienne and Veronica go so well together. I love the alliteration.

I’ve always felt the very act of naming yourself or someone/something else is extremely creative. Names are so poetic and gorgeous and meaningful. I think I’ll always have a second name I use online or in writing or part time. I love Vivienne Veronica. I adore Zarina, July, Irene, and many others. I intend to use them at various times.

I also feel that in addition to giving me creative license and inspiration, renaming myself allows me to start over fresh.  When I renamed myself I was undergoing a spiritual transformation, and wanted a new name to reflect the new me. It was also a chance to break free of old addictions. Renaming myself provided me with a new start.

However, at the time I began using my self created name on everything from email addresses to blogs, I was not in contact with my family. There was a hole in my life. At the end of last year I got back in touch with them and we reconnected. It troubles them that I use a different name than the one they gave me. It hurts their feelings that I don’t use the name they gifted me at birth. So I split my time between the two names, leaving some people confused about what to call me, my family unhappy I’m going by another name at all, and me always having to remember whether the person I’m running into knows me as Vivienne or Lisa.

I am very attached to Vivienne Veronica, but I’ve decided it is best to start going by Lisa again, or maybe at least Marie for my legal middle name. I may always play with using other names online or creatively (naming myself is such a poetic, creative outlet for me), but legally I will keep my name Lisa Marie. Socially I will go back to being Lisa Marie. Lisa Marie is a soft, classic name with an L I really like and that gorgeous French Marie. Lisa Marie is just so female, so feminine. I know it would make my parents happy to see me going by my given name once more to people outside the family. So from now on, call me Lisa Marie, not Vivienne Veronica. I’ve changed over the last five years, and after all these changes I maybe now, more than ever, can fully be Lisa Marie. I am her. Vivienne Veronica gave me space to grow, like a chrysalis it let me grow my wings in safety. But now like any butterfly I am ready to fly. Like any river I am indebted to the rivulets at the base of my life, and they are an intrinsic part of who I am. Like a willow tree, I need to care for my roots. Vivienne Veronica was a good name for the leaves, but not the whole tree.

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Sweet Cravings

I am absolutely starving for a new volume of poetry that will blow my soul open. I need some poetic C4. I’ve been asleep lately, and only some fresh imagery and sensuousness can wake me. Alliteration allows me to think in music. Synesthesia strokes my senses.

I have been writing a little bit the past couple of days, but I still feel a tremendous pressure in the back of my head from all the images that are stuck behind my mental block. I’ve been able to birth a few good lines, but mostly I am blocked. It is as though there is a dam in my mind and the poetry is leaking through at a trickle, when what I need is a flood.

Science fiction and horror are starting to call my name, so I think I will read through some of the volumes I bought but haven’t read yet of horror and scifi. I  am renewing my interest in microfiction too.

Today my mom had surgery on her toe. Thankfully it went well and she is out of the hospital and at home resting comfortably. I wasn’t able to go to the surgery because my poor babysitter is sick with the flu, but my thoughts are with her. I  was going to take Angelica with me to visit Mom at her house after the surgery, but Mom was tired (turns out she had to be sedated in addition to her local anesthesia) and needed to sleep undisturbed. I will go over tomorrow to keep her company and see if she needs anything. She can walk on her heel, but she cannot drive so if she needs to go anywhere she has to have help.

Today I have washed dishes, loaded laundry, emptied trash, washed and refilled our Soda Stream bottles, supervised Angelica cleaning her room, and I am feeling utterly uninspired to do anything else. I don’t have to do a major cleaning because the cleaning lady is coming tomorrow, but I should at least sweep. I might read a good homemaking blog to give me that little boost needed to do the boring but Holy work of house cleaning.

Lately my brain has been trying to climb upward toward hypomania. I had to cut back on mood stabilizer because it was making me too tired (one of the reasons I always have low energy) and I think it is causing me to swing a little. But so far instead of feeling super good and creative I just get suddenly irritable and angry at no one in particular and for no good reason. I will suddenly be overwhelmed by a desire to yell (that I don’t give in to) or to be alone.

Rising like this has made me miss my good hypomanias. I don’t miss mania, but hypomania can be fun if you don’t do anything too stupid and get in trouble. I become keenly creative and highly energetic. Colors actually look brighter. All my senses awaken. I can see connections between things that I normally can’t. I really hope if I do swing high into hypomania I get one of the exciting ones, not one of the angry ones. No hypomania is good for you, but at least I get something out of the ones that feel good. It doesn’t get scary until you are thinking so fast you can’t remember your thoughts.

Cleaning Up and Clearing Out

I have so many arts and craft supplies that my once homey craft room / office has begun to feel cramped and chaotic. It makes me not want to spend time in there anymore. And the truth is I don’t use most of the art supplies. I have to face the music. I don’t have any talent in art and so I will buy a new material to use and try out, and then I will not use it again. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of my art supplies in the past. The room also used to be really organized. One of my friends organized it for me one time and made it absolutely beautiful. I still have her sticker filing system in place, among other things. But the fact is I don’t have very good executive functioning and I’m not good at maintaining organization. So many projects require you to pull out so many materials and then I just don’t remember where everything goes back into or I can’t get everything back the way it was and soon the place is a wreck. So I’ve decided to scale down. I am only keeping my stickers, which include the flower embellishments and the letter stickers, my scrapbooking paper, and of course my photos. Everything else must go. I want to be able to display art that I own and collectibles that I own and use the space as an office for writing and other activities. When I scrapbook I want to have a lot of open desk space to use.

Adding fuel to my fire is the fact that we are moving at the end of February. Now the Navy will pay to have the movers pack up your house for you so I don’t actually have to pack the stuff. But if it’s not fairly neat and organized I have heard stories about them refusing to pack for people and coming back later expecting the place to be redone. I don’t want to be in that situation of having 24 hours or so to organize my house I’m having to Rack my brain as to how to do it. Much of the house is going to require Craig help because it is Craig’s stuff and I’m not the type of wife who will throw out her husband stuff without permission. But everything of mine I’m going to start going through and seeing what needs to be thrown out and what’s really important to me and should be kept. Perhaps some things that were really important to me and brought me a lot of joy in the past, like the art supplies, no longer bring me the same Joy. Perhaps certain outfits I used to love no longer fit or certain handbags I used to add or have gotten kind of old and worn out. I need to start clearing stuff out of here. I’ve got 6 bags of Arts supplies to be tossed or sold. Who knows what else I can gather. And I plan to enlist the help of friends and family and maybe also the nice lady who cleans our house to get this place ready for the move. When we get to Colorado and have to unpack I don’t want it to be a nightmare. I want an amount of stuff that will easily fit into a slightly smaller house, which is what we’re going to, and I do not want to have to unpack anything superfluous. There are several spots in my house that tend to be messy and unorganized and I don’t want to haul that messiness with me across the country to a new state.

Life Updates

My surgery to reattach my intestines and get rid of my colostomy bag is in less than 2 weeks, on Wednesday, October 25th. I am definitely nervous about it. Everything from getting an IV to having my intestines reattached and eating afterward without ripping my intestines apart, to the pain after surgery.  I am afraid of the IV because nurses tend to have a really bad time getting an IV in me and I have to be stuck several times. When that fails, they may try to give me a midline, which is painful. I’ll find out this Thursday at my pre surgery appointment what the guidelines are for me eating, but whenever I’m allowed to eat I’m going to be afraid of a whole lot of pain and torn intestines. I am also going to miss food, as I’m guessing I won’t be able to eat for awhile. And  I am dreading the pain when I wake up from surgery. I was in a lot of pain when I woke up from the surgery that gave me my colostomy bag, and this is supposed to be more major surgery than that.

At the same time, I am so thrilled that I won’t have to live with a colostomy bag anymore. I just have to get through this surgery (well, possibly two more surgeries depending on how things go) and I will be back to normal. I am so excited that I am counting down the days.

I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time hanging with friends and reading. I am excited about my new secret sister. I’m in a group that just started a secret sister swap. You get a name and address and some basic information about the person, and then you send them little cards and gifts. You also pray for them. In April you find out who your secret sister was. I need to get creative with my little gifts.

I am taking a break from writing and instead focusing on reading and researching. It refreshes me. You can’t take water from a dry well, or withdraw from a bank account you haven’t been depositing in. Well, I have withdrawn and withdrawn from my creative account and now it is time to make some deposits by reading.

Angelica’s 4th birthday was on October 4. We had her party on Sunday the 8th. Vicki and Joel, my inlaws, came to town for it and my parents and my sister were there too. My parents brought a pinata and she had a blast with it. She has been munching on the candy all week. She loves all her gifts.

Signs

Last night Craig was sleeping with his head on my shoulder and I just realized I’ve been given a second chance at life. In another generation having diverticulitis and a hole in your intestines would be a death sentence. Your intestines would leak and you would get sepsis and die. But modern medical technology, as gross as this bag is, allows me to have a second chance to live my life and be with my husband. And that’s a beautiful thing because I can’t imagine being without him. And I can’t imagine leaving him alone to spend his days and nights by himself and raise our daughter alone.

Nonetheless I woke up this morning depressed by my bag. As I was sitting on the sofa feeling tired and depressed, Angelica randomly brought me one of my Bible devotionals. It was open to a page about guardian angels and I realized there’s an angel around me. I’m not alone. I have an angel watching over me. It gives me some comfort.  Maybe my guardian angel was convincing me to go to the hospital on the day my intestines opened up. I was in pain, but I couldn’t imagine that anything was seriously wrong so I was on the fence about going to the hospital. I almost didn’t go. If I hadn’t my intestines might have leaked and I would have had sepsis and died. I can’t imagine leaving Angelica motherless.

Later on I opened the devotional myself to a random page and the page landed on was about trials and tribulations. It was about God rewarding you at the end of a trial. This is a trial to me. But if I can get through this I will be rewarded with abundant life when it is over – if I draw closer to God.

It’s funny how these devotionals can really speak to you and just the way you need in times of stress and duress. It’s the workings of God.

A Daughter is Equal to a Son

“You need to have a boy to carry on the family name.” “It is your responsibility to have a boy. We don’t need more girls. We need a boy.” But, I explain, girls are wonderful and I would love ten more of them. My father had two girls and was happy with them. “Well then your family is history. They’re dead then.”

These were a few  of the remarks I got from my husband’s grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend. And I was really taken aback. Society has advanced so much but to hear that a girl child is not as welcome as a boy child really threw me for a loop. How could anyone look at my beautiful baby girl and see her as being less than the best? Why is a boy necessary or even desirable when we have her? And if I did have another baby why wouldn’t I want to experience the joy of raising a baby girl again?

My daughter is not a consolation prize. She is not what you accept when you can’t get something better. There is nothing better and I would not favor having a son over her.

Girls carry the family legacy just as much as boys do, and in fact girls are often the glue that holds a family together. It is women that knot the ties that bind. And many of us do carry our father’s names probably either by keeping our maiden names or using our maiden names as a middle name. Whatever accomplishments I may have in my life, whether it is getting a book published or something else, my father’s name will be emblazoned on me and I will do him proud. No, my children will not carry my father’s name, but what is the arrogance of man that he thinks he can pass down his label through every generation? Do men really think that when someone achieves something great six Generations from now anyone is going to look back and say well your great-great-great grandfather must have been a hell of a guy? You can’t pass on a name forever, and if you have posterity worth being celebrated and researched, their mother and her forebears will be researched also.

What we need are patriarchal family units, but a more matriarchal society. The roles and achievements of women are just as important as the roles and achievements of men, and we are as much part of our family lineages as males are.

So no, I don’t need a son. I have a daughter to carry my husband’s family and mine. She is as much a Minner and an Applegate as she is a McLemore, and she will be part of the McLemore line after she marries.  It is time to talk about the legacy of daughters.