A few nights ago we watched Into the Wild, the true story of Christopher MacCandless and his unconventional life and tragic end.
He’s quite a character, and early on in his adventure he burned his IDs and started calling himself Alexander Supertramp. The name seemed to fit far more than the one he was given, and it made me think.
Does a new lifestyle deserve a new name?
Like most people, I think of my life in phases. Mine has had 4 so far: childhood, first marriage, post-divorce singledom, and my marriage to Warren. My cumulative personality is based on the experiences in those 4 phases, and if you asked me to give them each a name I could (Betsy, Bets, Bohemia, Liz). You probably could, too. We could have a terrific conversation about things we learned in our various phases and what pieces stuck with us into the next one. (How I wish we could all get together in a room sometime!)
As we get ready to embark on this new adventure, I wonder what this phase should be named. I jokingly told someone in book club a couple of months ago that my stage name was Lola, and she has continued to call me that name ever since. While I laugh at it, it really isn’t far from the truth.
The woman who is embarking on this trip is a far cry from the girl who was afraid to get on a plane or drive on an interstate. The name “Betsy” implies a sweet, next-door-neighbor kinda gal, and that really isn’t accurate either.
I’m not actually going to change my name, but I do wonder what this latest phase in my life should be called. Bette has a nice ring to it – a little more cosmopolitan and bold, which is what I wish to be.
If you could rename yourself based on your current adventure, what would it be and why? Let me know in the comments.