I spent timeless efforts in my life trying to find the perfect name under which I would share my art. For some reasons, mine wasn’t good enough. I didn’t like it. Too French. Too old. I choked on the dust covering its letters.
I wanted something new. International. I tried different pen names, but my words then became meaningless. No truth can be found under a lie.
Then, I found an online username. « LalettreM ». This one worked. It held enough of myself to find some vulnerability in it, yet remained a good shield against my fear of judgment. If people didn’t like my work (and got very wordy about it), it wouldn’t hurt as much. The username would be a wall between who I am and what I do. None would ever meet in a comment.
However, opening up on this website week after week made me realize how most of my fears are simply illusions, tricks my mind played on me to keep me safe, but safety isn’t about keeping myself from getting hurt, nor is it about going to war with those who would disagree with me. It’s about standing up for myself. Writing, sharing regardless of other’s opinion. The approval I give myself for every piece I create is worth more than a billion praises from others.
Resolute, I changed my usernames for my own. It is a beautiful name, worthy to be remembered. I learnt to love the way it sounds when it rolls off my tongue, the French Canadian heritage it carries. I appropriated it, just like I did my mind, my heart, and now my body.
My name is an anchor, solid ground beneath my feet. My roots grow deep in its soil, for my branches to reach upward towards the universe. It is the edge from which I take my leaps of faith, diving into the unknown. It is the safe haven where I rest in between adventures. It is my mother tongue, my ancestors. It once chose me, now I choose it. I was born with it. I will die with it.
I don’t own my name. I earned it. It will be mine to use for this lifetime.