Re Monroe

I came up with the name Re Monroe for a pseudonym about a year ago, and I still like it, so I’ll keep it. I mentioned in the past that I was working on a novel. After my separation, I went through a lot of ups and downs, and during my downs, I hated my work and gutted it several times. Fortunately, I am astute at saving every draft, and I think I can still salvage things. While there are things I hate about it, there are still things I like about it. Now that summer is approaching, and I am in a good head space, I’ll have time to make it the way it should be. And, I’ll be using my pen name Re Monroe.

I came up with the name because I wanted something that sounded more gender neutral. I first thought of Re because it is the first two letters of my name spelled backwards, and a lot of my favorite words start with re. Words such as rejuvenate, reinvent, and recycle.

A running joke in my family is my insistence that I will live forever. With that expectation is that I will find the fountain of youth. I will continuously rejuvenate, and I will remain on this planet healthy and full of life. Naturally, my daughters remind me that it is impossible, but I will fight that one as far as I can, because I want to be alive and I do not think that it is right that we are created only to die. Yes, my genes are passed on to the next generation, but I have an intelligence, and I want to be here; I don’t want my time to end.

Reinvent: we are always reinventing ourselves with each change of life. We adapt, we push limits, and we evolve. It reminds me of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (I am a high school English teacher, after all):  “Out, out, brief candle. Life is nothing more than an illusion. It’s like a poor actor who struts and worries for his hour on the stage and then is never heard from again.” Yes, our lives are brief, but actors are constantly reinventing themselves. And, our lives probably are an illusion, but we can continuously be heard from if we take on new roles.

As for recycle, yes it is good for the environment, but it also goes back to my philosophy of life and how I want to live forever. I devoted a number years to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). I was drawn to the religion as a teenager because of the knowledge that people could be resurrected, live forever, and keep evolving. I am no longer a part of the church for various reasons, but I still love the philosophy of being able to live forever and continue to grow for eternity. I now consider myself to be agnostic (I will write more about it next week). As far as recycling goes, I want to remain alive in some form. If there is no such thing as resurrection, I hope there is such a thing as reincarnation, and that my essence—my intelligence—will remain. Even if it’s downloaded onto a memory stick, or whatever device is available in the future, I want to live. I could be an ugly tarantula, and as long as I had life, and could move, and be here, I would be happy. Just let me live in some form.

The name Monroe comes from the screen goddess Marilyn Monroe. I am a fan of her films, and when I came up with the name Re, I had been reading her autobiography and I watched Niagra with my older daughters. Earlier in the year, my English 30 students studied Thomas King’s Truth and Bright Water where there is a male character named Monroe and there is an allusion to Marilyn Monroe through another character. Through the past year, I have been trying to find a surname that goes better with Re, and the only one I can think of is my married name, but obviously, I do not want to use that. So, I am going to stick with Monroe.

I am still figuring out how to change my email name and to delete photos, so I can separate my private life from my writing life. It will take some time. In the meantime, I will continue on, I will evolve, and I will just be thankful I am here. Thank you for taking the time to read my work, and love to all.

Facebook Goes On Without Me

Last week, I deactivated my Facebook account. I didn’t give a warning, and I didn’t say good-bye; I just faded away, and people have so many Facebook friends these days that I don’t think anyone even noticed. Photos, thoughts, inspirational quotes, articles, and events continue to be posted while likes, loves, sad faces, angry faces, and laughing faces continue to be given.

Facebook goes on without me.

I do miss my close Facebook friends; they were always there for me when I felt lonely or sad, and they always helped me to feel liked, loved, and connected.

I do not miss the darker side of Facebook: being watched, examined, and judged as stories (whether true or not) unfold through trails of activities, along with the temptation to watch, examine, and judge other people.

I did not like that my estranged husband, who does not have a Facebook account, was somehow aware of my Facebook activities. It caused me a tremendous amount of stress feeling like I was constantly under the microscope.

I also did not like that people could witness my activities without understanding the context. As an example, I have a Facebook friend I worked with for many years who went through some struggles and turned his life around. He is also quite humorous, so I liked and loved a lot of his posts. There were some people who did not know the context of the relationship and misunderstood my reactions to his posts. Naturally, I felt upset, not only for being misunderstood, but for my lack of privacy in a public forum (as odd as that sounds).

And, I have done that to other people as well. I have a friend of mine who was constantly receiving posts to his timeline from a woman, and I assumed she was an over possessive girlfriend. After I sent a long, over-the-top message of concern for him through Messenger (a private forum), it turned out that she was just an old friend. Fair enough, though I still think she is over possessive; a few months ago, I ran into her on Facebook, and after that experience, I was afraid to comment on any of his posts.

While I like seeing anniversary photos of people who have been together for a while, I do not like seeing pictures of new relationships on Facebook. One of my guy friends had a girlfriend who broke up with him, and within a few days, photos of her and her new boyfriend were all over her Facebook page as though having a boyfriend was the epitome of her entire existence. What was even more cringe-worthy was that she often changed her profile picture, and he always placed a like. A few months before the breakup, he placed a like while her soon to be new Facebook boyfriend placed a love. I felt bad for him; not only did he have to deal with his girlfriend cheating on him, but he had to deal with it being exposed on Facebook.

I have been meeting a lot of new people in real life, and eventually, I will go on dates. While doing so, I would like to maintain some mystery about myself. A friend of mine (another male friend . . . I swear, I do have female friends) was on a first date with someone he met online. While on the date, she checked out his Facebook page in front of him and made derogatory comments. I do not want to be creeped and judged like I am a thing and not a real person; I want someone to actually take the time to get to know me.

While I have felt somewhat sad this week, mourning the loss of Facebook, I also feel a sense of freedom. I am still on Messenger, and I hope that throughout the summer, my Facebook friends will contact me to get together in the real world where we can share photos and have meaningful conversations about our experiences.

As for my blog, I am going to keep it going, because writing is something I enjoy and something I do whether I have an audience or not. To maintain some privacy, over the course of this week, I will be deleting my real name and replacing it with a pseudonym.

As always, thank you for reading.