The Artist Formerly Known As…

If you used to frequent my tripod site you know all about SuperNovia. I used to have a short little blurb on how I got the name, but now that I’m getting rid of it I’ve got some real explaining to do.

Hiding behind my name? Nope - just behind a camera
Hiding behind my name? Nope – just behind a camera

Flash back to 1996, my senior year in high school. After playing the field for some time, I was sick of the games and vowed I’d never date again. (Hah!) So instead I hung out with my friend, a guy from work who’d coincidentally delivered newspapers in my neighborhood four years earlier, and who now had a locker next to mine.

We usually either went bowling or ate snowshak treats while we talked about life in general. I’m not sure how this happened, but one day as we were bowling the birds began to sing. My paperboy friend had just thrown a strike, and when he turned and smiled at me I realized I liked him as more than a friend. Little did I know he’d also been crushing on me.

After we discovered our mutual feelings we were inseparable. Well, mostly inseparable… I decided to spend a few months teaching English in Russian kindergartens with the International Language Program. My paperboy went to school and waited for me, and we wrote each other several times each week.

Then, shortly after I returned, my sweetie turned 19. In our church this is when boys are called to go on missions for two years. He was called to serve in Santiago Chile, and while learning Spanish took to calling me his Novia. First he said it on tape, and I thought he’d said Nova. Try as I might I couldn’t think of any good reason to be his exploding star. Was it supposed to be a compliment or what?

Nevertheless I figured I might as well go bigger and better, so I wrote back saying I’d be his SuperNova. He corrected me, explaining that the “i” in novia made it mean “girlfriend”. We had a good laugh about my mistake and the name SuperNovia stuck. So I made that my email address, my forum nickname, and I even made a website about waiting for a missionary.

You hear jokes about how you know you’re hopelessly addicted to the internet when you get a personalized license plate with your nick on it. I didn’t go that far. But over those two years (and admittedly even after he came home) I really let things get out of control. SuperNovia was a fun name, and the meaning behind it was great, but I was losing MY meaning. Even people at my work didn’t know me for who I was; they knew me as the girl who was waiting for a missionary. SuperNovia! I even made my own cape for Halloween. It was more of a joke than anything, but still it meant more to me than it should have. Instead of an identity it became a blindfold. I don’t think I even knew the real me.

I married this paperboy of mine shortly after he came home. Now — merely four years later — we have two kids. Yes we are still married and still happy! But only after I was able to let go of the super marriage fantasy. I’m realizing life doesn’t have to be this big perfect fairy tale – or comic book as the case may be. There are struggles and victories, but most days we just don’t have that much drama. Who needs it?

And really, who needs to build their entire identity around their feelings for someone else? Remember the song “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, covered nicely by Smashing Pumpkins and later slaughtered by the Dixie Chicks?

“I’ve been afraid of changing Cause I’ve built my life around you.”

Afraid or not, I’m ready to reclaim my true identity. Sure I’m a great wife & a loving mom. But a SuperNovia? Probably not. So, if you’re still reading this article, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Velda.