My name is Don’Angelica, which has perplexed me my entire life. Each time I’d introduce myself I’d be embarrassed when people asked me where I got my name and to their dismay, I’d have to answer, “I don’t know.” Either one of my parents could remember where they’d gotten my name from or why they even choose that name for me. It always bothered me when people expressed with pride how they were named after great-grandparents who did interesting things but I had no such story to tell. To add to the complexity, I’m of African American descent with no history past my grand parents.
I’ve always loved Joseph Campbell’s, The Power of Myth, and understood how stories help us cope with different stages of life from birth to death. I began telling people that I would create my own story about the origins of my name but like most mothers, I got busy buying groceries and attending PTA meetings until finally one day no one needed me to bring home a box of cereal or to drop off their forgotten backpack at school and I was left with no one who needed me and worse no story telling me who I was or where I was going. I was lost.
After brooding over my empty nest for a while, I quieted myself long enough to hear my second life calling. It was time to write the story of my name. But I knew it couldn’t be an ordinary story, it would be a story that that not only told the world who I am but would also need to carry me through the next stage of my life.
The story I created for myself was beautiful. It was full of mystery, spirituality and even had a component of empowerment for women, which is what I’d always been about. Only one problem; the story seemed to clash with not only my religion but also that of all of my family and friends. You see my name is Don’Angelica, which means person of consequence, messenger of god. I created a myth called, ‘Message To The girlGods’ which is a story of thousands of girlGods who traveled to Earth to demonstrate the power of the human girl. I was the messenger in the story who was sent by the gods to contact the girlGods after they forgot who they were after their arrival.
I had to decide whether I would publish the story and create more than a little friction within my very comfortable social group or repress my story and ability for growth with it. I decided to publish. A few relationships did die as a result but like any rebirth, death was the price that had to be paid and it was so worth it.
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