I’ve decided to change my name back to Samantha Emily Evans on Facebook. To me, this is big. I decided to change my name to Sammy Ginsberg because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed of my own thoughts, feelings, and circumstances, and I had to pretend it was someone else in order to talk about them.
I quit my job because I hated it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and because of my mental health history, I didn’t know if anyone would want to hire me again. I didn’t get a reference from my manager because I was too embarrassed to ask her for one, and she didn’t offer. I also felt that I didn’t want to ask her for a letter of recommendation because I felt she did not know me. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew that anything was better than how I was feeling.
I felt all these words building in my head and my heart, and I knew I had to let them out. They had been going round and round and I felt they were suffocating me. I wasn’t ready to accept them as my own, and so I created a fictional character called “Sammy Ginsberg” to say them for me.
If you read my “How to Value Your Own Thoughts”, you can probably guess that most of what I wrote actually happened to me. The day that I finished my blovel was the day I got on a plane and moved to Greece. It was intentional. I was so embarrassed about what I had written that after I published it, I pretended it never happened.
In Greece, I met a bunch of people who didn’t know me (and weren’t friends with me on Facebook!) and thus continued on as if nothing had happened. But it had, and eventually I had to say something. I started to feel depressed again, and eventually, I had to be honest about who I was and what I thought. Well, if I wanted to make friends 😛
It’s been seven weeks. On Thursday, June 6th – I’m returning to London. I’m terrified. I am not sure if I have let go of what has happened to me, if I have moved on.
I am trying. I have a new job. I’m moving to a new country. And yet, I will still be me. Even if I change everything about my life, I will still be me. Samantha Emily Evans. Sammy.
I have decided that if a company won’t hire me because of my mental health history, my creative expression, or my personality – then I don’t want to work for them.
I have decided that if someone, as Alice Walker says, “demands [my] silence, or denies [my] right to grow,” then I don’t want them to be my friend or my Facebook friend.
I have decided to accept myself and to celebrate what I have overcome rather than shrink myself to hide what I wish didn’t happen.
Because it did. What happened happened, but I’m not going to let it stop me from being happy; I’m not going to let it stop me from expressing myself.
And I’m definitely not going to be embarrassed about it.