COULD I HAVE BEEN ANYONE OTHER THAN ME

For this assignment, I decided to ask myself the timeless Shakespearean question, What’s In A Name? (And the not-so timeless Dave Matthews-ian question, Could I Have Been Anyone Other Than Me?) For this assignment, I had to, “Write a blog in which you tell us something, anything, about either your given names or your blog name(s).” Well, why not both?

What’s In A Name: Blog Name

Why Melody? Why unbeheldmelody? This is a pretty short story: I actually chose the name some years ago when I started posting artwork online. The name comes from the song, ‘Lucia’s Theme,’ from the video game, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue. Ah, the good ol’ days of simple Playstation. Lunar 2 is a game that I remember fondly; the songs, voice acting, game play, and storyline really resonate with me. I wanted to take a part of it with me, so I examined the lyrics of my favorite in-game song to find a name for my online persona. ‘Lucia’s Theme’ goes like this:

♪ When I was alone as one,
my eyes were as blind, I know.
Sky brilliant with blue elegance,
I couldn’t behold.

When I was alone as one,
My heart was as ice, so cold.
Wind whispering sweet melodies,
I could not behold. ♪

Here, I took the phrase, “could not behold” and shortened it/put it in past tense to “unbeheld.” I took “melodies” from the line “Wind whispering sweet melodies,” and made it the singular form, “melody.” Then I just squished the two words together to make unbeheldmelody.
To me, it means, “I couldn’t appreciate the beauty around me before I met you,” which is a sentiment that I hold dear. We all have someone in our lives who mean the world to us (boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, sibling, parent, pet, mentor, etc.), someone who makes things just a little less grey when they’re around. My blog name is akin to my “optimistic side,” where I am reminded that the world isn’t so bad as long as I have _____. (The fill-in-the-blank for me currently is my boyfriend. c: And my dogs of course!) My actual name, however, is a bit more glass half-empty…

*Sings at the top of my lungs* “WHENNNN, I WAS ALONE AS ONE,”

What’s In A Name: Actual Name

My first name is sooooo frustrating. It was a hugely popular baby name when I was born. I was never the only Jessica in class at school.

RAMBLING ROSES

I feel you so much, author of the blog site, RAMBLING ROSES. I too, share this hugely-popular-in-the-80’s name. My mother named me Jessica because there is a naming convention in my family where we all start with the letter, ‘J.’ I was the last born, so there weren’t that many decent ‘J’ names left to choose from. It was either Jessica, or Janette Leann. Considering those were the only options my mother was considering, I’m thankful my name is Jessica. (Back in the 80’s, there was no Googling baby names).

It is always a bit frustrating to hear your name called and immediately afterwords you hear, “no, not you, the other Jessica.” (Thankfully, there are fewer and fewer Jessica’s to contend with nowadays, since I’m a whole decade older than most of my current classmates). Yet, having a common name is not what bothers me most. What really “grinds my gears” is that I’ve never felt like the name fit me. To my ears, Jessica is someone who wears Ugg boots and drinks pumpkin spice lattes. (No offense to any Jessica’s or Ugg boot wearers reading this). She has a ton of friends- a real social butterfly. Or at the very least, she’s a bubbly, off-beat teacher, who is known to burst into song (New Girl). Bubbly, social, pretty, kooky.

If I could sum up “me,” it would be the opposite of all those words. I’m extremely shy/quiet, I can count the number of friends I have on one hand and would have fingers to spare, I’m nihilistic/apathetic, I appreciate dark humor, I like bitter things like dark chocolate and un-sweet tea, I’m always tired, and you’ll probably never catch me in anything other than jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt that I didn’t think very hard about.

Now, one could argue that my connotation of “Jessica” is a mistaken belief, a delusional stereotype of Jessica’s everywhere, and just plain not true.

On the one hand, you’re right. My old roommate Jessica did not fit my description anymore than I do. She loved Mercedes Lackey novels, Gaia Online, and Ren Faires. She practiced Paganism. (A roommate bonus because she would go out onto Campus Walk to scare the missionaries away who were bothering students). This was no pumpkin spice latte Jessica. She was maybe a little kooky, but not New Girl kooky.

But, on the other hand, no one seems to think I represent “Jessica” either, because people often get my name wrong. Most of the time, I will be called Jenn. Twice, I’ve been called Autumn. And on more than one occasion, my own mother will call me Jaime, and then realizing that that is not my name, she will call me, “whatever your name is.”

So, what’s in a name? The answer is- a whole lot of assumptions which may or may not be true. A “Jessica” likes Starbucks frappucinos, just like a “Karen” will want to speak to a manager. I recognize that this kind of thinking is silly at best, and damaging at worst. We shouldn’t judge a person on their name or what flavors of coffee they enjoy. (I happen to like fall flavors, so I’m taking a jab at myself). But it’s still sooooo frustrating when ‘inner you’ is a Lyra Melody Exquemelin the third, and ‘outer you’ is Jessica.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my pumpkin spice latte is getting cold.

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