I'm still getting used to the new routine, one week on and one week off at a time. The weeks without the kids are all about me, which makes me feel strangely guilty and self-indulgent, but Note To Self: you live alone now. Who else are the lonely weeks going to be about? The dog?
Speaking of that little shit, Harry's with me full-time and apparently he's PISSED. He routinely craps on the floor and twice now he's peed on my bed. I'm not talking about a few measly drops from getting overly excited, either, I'm talking an EMPTIED BLADDER. The second time I found it the hard way: I took my vitamins, brushed my teeth, turned the lights off and fell face down directly onto a wet pillow. A SOAKING wet pillow. THAT was fun, lemme tell you. Guess who's having a hard time adjusting to the move? And guess who had to invest in rubber sheets?Anyway, what was I getting at? That living alone is giving me a lot of time to think about who I am and who I want to to be. I have the chance to get to know myself all over again from scratch and that feels remarkably good. I'm not saying I haven't been myself all along, but I have been this one very specific version of me. I guess I'm looking forward to figuring out the version of myself that isn't a version at all, if that makes any sense. I'm a grown-up, right? So I get to choose who to be. And I'm trying to be conscientious in my choices.
I even get to choose my own NAME.
I decided a while ago that I'm not going to keep Del Buono. As much as I love the name and wish I could keep it for the kids, it just doesn't feel like it belongs to me anymore. It belongs to Dave. My maiden name isn't much better because that one belongs to my parents and I honestly can't imagine going back to being Amanda Harrison. That girl was a FOOL. A big fat one.
So I've been wracking my brain. Asking everyone from business colleagues to bartenders for suggestions. Researching everywhere and googling my ass off. I wanted to find something I could still register as a .com. That was really important to me. I want to OWN my name.
About a week ago, I found it:
Amanda Marie Penelope Westmont, if you want to get specific.
I figure I can be Amanda Westmont in my every day life. I can write serious fiction as A. P. Westmont (ha! serious fiction! as if!) and my juicier stuff can be written by Penelope Westmont.
Before you ask how I came up with it, let me just say I was shocked to find out that EVERY domain permutation was still available for this name. I've already registered apwestmont.com, amandawestmont.com, amandapwestmont.com AND penelopewestmont.com. (They all forward to mandajuice.com right now.)
THAT and I was born on Westmont Avenue and I named my first cat Penelope.
Talk about a name I can OWN.