Alias, rank and serial number…?

Ursula - Little Mermaid

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“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

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Do a search for ‘Ursula’ online and you’ll either get results for the name itself and what it means – She is a Bear – or a respected fierce female author with that first name, or a baddie, a wicked octopussy femme fatale witch, named Ursula, a monster brought to you by Disney, based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen, but it ain’t his version you’ll get.

If you’re an intrepid explorer of search results, you can dig deeper and get more for your search… maybe even make it to an actress who played a Bond lady, wore a certain bikini (which was sort of parodied in a more recent version of Bond), which intrigued Mister Bond.

Go further, beyond… and… I don’t know because I’m lazy.

What I do know is that you won’t get me…

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Alias

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Or maybe you will… and I know nothing (which is an accurate description of what I know).

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“Everything is a piece of me, a moment of my life.”

― Ursula Andress

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Perhaps you can relate to this, or that, or the other thing, and to all the relatable bits and pieces which spiral off from this kind of thing, this kind of being…

Because you’re online like I am and being that way makes you realise that who you are is not always who you think, are, know…

We’re an alias even when we aren’t using one…

Which brings me to my recent challenge and a question which was asked by hippie7girl:

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“1st – I think we’re all messy, upturned souls in our own way. 2nd – I tried to come up with a really awesome question, but my brain is elsewhere, so I’m going to go with…Why do you use an alias? Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with it, I’ve done it myself and would legally change my name in its entirety and disappear if I could, I’m just curious. Some people, and not necessarily narcissists, want people to know exactly who it is that is expressing the thoughts that they produce, whether blogs, books, scripts, etc. so what is your reasoning for not doing so? I know you go by “Ursula” but that may be an alias as well. Knowing you, you’ve probably addressed all this in a blog at some point, so I apologize if I’ve missed it. I have seen one where you briefly touched on the subject but I do not recall it going too in depth. That’s it, quite boring and far from profound.”

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I would like to deeply and gratefully thank hippie7girl for sharing this question in this way, and I’m including the whole comment as it was shared with me because… it expresses so much, so very much… both subtly and not so subtly… about being human, with or without a name… which I feel touches upon issues with which we can all relate even if we prefer to pretend not to do so or… whatever.

And it intertwines with the muse… that abstract and sometimes real concept which inspires us to go in many ways.

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no longer introduce yourself

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If you could be whoever you wanted to be, who would you be?

The internet allows us to experiment with that… to go by an alias which may suit us better than our given label, name, whatnot. To choose our own name, rather than the name someone else chose for us. To be who we want to be rather than who someone else wants for us to be or who we think we should be. To discover who we are by opening ourselves up to all that we… what? Dream for ourselves, wish for ourselves, think we could be if we were free… and other variations on the theme of self… esteem, confidence, reliance, and -ishness, etc.

As I did with Ursula… and yet, this is a nickname – so in theory someone else gave it to me, but… I liked it and owned it as a power name of sorts (you’re not supposed to share your magical power name, or others will get power over you… oops, in a long line of oopsies which I regularly commit), because the person who gave it to me knew I did not like my legally given name, perhaps because all it has mostly done is steal my power away from me because of how those who gave it to me used it. Used me. And so on and so forth.

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“… because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about…”

― Stephen Chbosky

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I was told several stories about how I was given my legal name… stories, stories… by people, person… but ultimately all I heard was “If I didn’t choose something you’d have ended up being called ‘Baby’ and frankly I this, I that, I, I, I… didn’t give a shit about you, but I gave a lot of shit about me.

I was given a name in vain… for the sake of someone else’s vanity.

That’s a hell of a way to start life! And ‘bear’ a name!

One way… a way many of us start life because our parents and namers name us for their own sake, not for ours…

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“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”
― Yann Martel

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My legal name is a very common one, very popular at the time and season I was born. My mother, who named me (my father didn’t care… or so she said), prided herself on originality… and yet her originality failed her when it came to giving me a name. But she protected herself from her slip up by telling herself, and then telling me, that she was… blah, blah, blah… originally original by being unoriginally unoriginal.

Having an unusual name can be a curse for a child, so you’d think having an usual name would be a blessing. A common name, easy to remember. And yet so many get my name completely wrong. Why?

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What's your name again?

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Because your name doesn’t matter… what matters is what other people make of it, of you… You don’t matter, they do! Your name doesn’t matter, theirs does!

As was most clearly brought to my attention this morning while perusing new comments on my blog and finding this on an old astrology post:

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“Capricorns are boring. No matter how much money and power they get, they never get to the deeper issues of life, their existence is meaningless with the exception of those who have fire signs in their ascendants. They want to be smart and funny but they never acomplish it because they lack introspection and abstraction, they don´t listen and have egos bigger than their talents. When it comes to power and success, they want it all but rarely have what it takes to get it. No match for Leos or Scorpios when it comes to status or knowledge, in fact they envy those two more than anything, i know a couple who wish they could buy a little of that honesty and powerful mental insight. To say it in small words; they are pretentious, superficial, boring and narrow minded, always trying so hard to be real and cool, but never get it. Capricorn is egotistic and very dumb, no matter how much they want to be awesome, at best they are average and ordinary, square, hypocritical and judgmental.”

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I’m a Capricorn… so… there you go! Not sure if this person knew they were talking to the enemy or not, not sure if they cared either way. They had something to say, and so they said it… and the rest is…

Is this about my Sun sign or about how another, obviously of a different Sun Sign, experiences my Sun sign… is their version of my Sun sign about my Sun sign or… about them, and theirs… them using theirs as an alias of sorts to do and say… what they need to do and say for this, that and the other reasons?

I don’t know, I’m too shallow, boring, and egotistical to know such things. Show me the money!

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“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

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Why use an alias… because you can, and do… and because in this world, online, you can do what you can’t do offline… find out who you are without others telling you who you are… until they find out about you and do what we humans always do – tell others who they are, because of who we are… want to be, and so on into infinity.

Status: It’s always frigging messed up!

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your own shadow

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And in the darkness we find ourselves… or something like that.

When we are without name, rank, and serial number… nothing by which to judge ourselves, and for others to do so… or at least when such things are no longer as important as they once seemed to be… for a split in the second… then the muse within us is free to do whatever… wreak havoc or bring peace, and many other possible options.

I’m Ursula… even if I’m not. This is me, I’m me whether I want to be me or not… I can’t seem to shake this feeling, this being… I think it has me hooked!

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Being Ursula allows me to be more me than me is comfortable with being me… such is the muse!

What about you?