Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bee is for Breedlove. (What?)

So it seems that when you get married, there are a few questions that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD simply must ask. There are two in particular that no one can resist.

1) Are you having kids? This is sometimes phrased as, "When are you having kids?" As if reproduction is not only something that everyone wants to do but is also something everyone is able to do. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to get me started on this one. Jonathan and I have a variety of ways to rebuff this inquiry, more or less gently depending on the inquirer.

2) Are you changing your name? This one's just for me of course, and is significantly more fun - particularly because the answer is yes! In this instance I am doing the "normal" thing and taking my new husband's name. In my creative pursuits I will continue with my chosen nom de plume, but how was I ever going to turn down Breedlove? Please. Best name ever. Half of why I married him. (Kidding. It's only a quarter.)

Names... have always been an issue for me. For a long time I didn't even really identify with my first name. I went through a stint in middle school where I dabbled in having people call me by my middle name, Michelle. Apparently I look more like a Michelle anyway - people have accidentally called me Michelle my whole life, not even knowing the validity of the misnomer. Then in high school there was my brief obsession with the name Zoe, Greek for life. Why? Who knows. Everybody knows all cool names start with Z, I guess.

At some point in my late teens the world decided I would be called Mel, and though I never particularly liked it I embraced it. I wore it like armor: a name for the personality that walked around out there in the world for me while I hid inside of my head. It came with a bonus, in that many people assumed my name was Melanie. A cloak of anonymity, even as I dyed my hair pink and purple and walked the streets in giant boots and wifebeaters.

In the past couple of years, though, something new has happened. I've stopped being a persona and began to just be a person, and as such I no longer need that false name. Slowly but surely, even to me, I became Melissa. Which, though quite common among women my age, is actually a pretty interesting name. Mel means honey, and Melissa means little honey bee. I have a thing with bees these days; they're a fairly good symbol for my life, now that I've started to get over the phoenix thing.

Bees are the symbol of fertility and sexuality.
Its honeycomb, a hexagon, is
the symbol of the heart and
represents the sweetness of life found within
our own hearts.
It is also the symbol of the sun and all its energies.

The bee reminds us to extract the honey of life and to make our
lives fertile (productive) while the sun shines.
No matter how great the
dream is, there is the promise of fulfillment
if we pursue our dreams.

If a Bee has shown up in your life, examine your own productivity.
Are you doing all you can to make your life more productive?
Are you
busy enough?
Are you making time to savor the honey of life and not becoming
a workaholic?

The Bee is the symbol of accomplishing the impossible.
Aerodynamically, its body is too large for its wings and should not be able
to fly. Although now we understand how it does fly (high rate of wing
movement), the Bee remains a symbol of accomplishing anything you put your
mind to.
So there you go. To pursue, and sometimes accomplish, the impossible; to stay busy, almost too busy; to appreciate what is sweet in life (what I call the little things) - for better or worse, it's sort of me in a nutshell.


Kim said...

oh good! I've been calling you Melissa for decades, glad everyone else is finally catching up to me :)

melissa bastian. said...

I've been meaning to add an addendum for my friends who do call me Mel - it's not that I want you to stop calling me that! At this point I hear it as a sort of term of endearment. :)