I am Philena.
I was given this name at birth, and it means “Lover of Mankind.” For a long time, I was unsure why this name was given to me but, we’ll get into that another time…
For those of you who know me as, ‘Lena,’ did you know that it means, “Seducer of Mankind?”
Anyway, what is this about me being named, ‘Philena?’
For many of you, this may come as a surprise because for a time, I introduced myself online as Xia Valentine.
Who is Xia Valentine?
Xia Valentine is a version of the hero I had made in my head. The name, Xia, is a combination of “Xena: Warrior Princess” and Zia, which reminds me of my New Mexican flag, which hosts the Zia symbol for the sun. I chose Valentine because I was heavily influenced by a character from Final Fantasy VII and wished I were his granddaughter. I made this persona for my online activities to inspire me to be greater than myself, or at least, greater than I saw myself at the time.
Instead, over time, I allowed my emotions to come out while I was live streaming my game play and mar the image I had created for myself to look up to. I allowed people I held in high esteem to influence me to act in ways that I felt embarrassed by later, and I realized that while I can and did, create my own hero, I would still always be Me – emotionally messy at times and too cold at others.
After hating myself for so long, coming from suicidal attempts from youth and entering two major relationships that I allowed to further tear apart what self-esteem I had, it was very easy to not want to be ‘just’ Philena anymore, to want to be more than this broken being with messy emotions that had been supressed, just waiting to burst out in some tsunami that would be labeled as “crazy” when really, it was nothing more than a trapped dust storm that had been touched by tears.
I am more than that broken being though. I am Philena. I am Xia. I am Me.
And, I also finally realized, that being Me, is not such a bad thing. ^_^