My name isn’t Monica at all, not my real name anyway, but Monica is a name that was given to me long ago, not long after I first moved out of home and started living with friends.
You all must know Monica Gellar from Friends right? Well, I was labelled Monica by my dear flatmates of old who thought I was just like her. At first it upset me to think about accepting that name, but after a while it made me laugh.
I admit, I am anally retentive, I like a clean house, I like order and structure in my life, I’m a planner (and I’m good at it), I have an obsession with patterns and things being even. I live by the mantra, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’ I have a certain way that I like my clothes to hang in my closet or fold in my drawers. I like my body to feel symmetrical, so I do things like chewing equally on both sides of my mouth and walking equal numbers of steps yet I cut my hair so that one side is longer than other, which is quite weird now that I think of it. I put bills in special folders labelled neatly so I know where to find them.
It drives my husband crazy. He is completely the opposite – messy, spontaneous, chaotic. It drives me crazy that he is that way too but I also love that about him. He has a completely different view of the world than me. We balance each other out and since being with him I’ve mellowed a little on the order front. I tend to channel my crazy into my work now, rather than my home life and don’t get so worked up about it when things aren’t exactly as I like them. I catch myself being a little TOO anally retentive sometimes and I stop myself, because some things are just sad. I also know there are members of my family worse off than me in this way, or at least in their own ways – we each bring an element of OCD to the table in various degrees!
And do you know what? I’m proud of it – I like a clean house, so what? I make a nice home for my husband and I to live in, I’m excellent at baking because I follow recipes strictly unless I’ve made a calculated decision to deviate, I’m a good driver because I am focussed and I follow the rules, and being this way has made me really good at my job and I’m grateful for that. There’s nothing that inspires me more than a complex communication challenge/issue/problem that I can set about fixing, or a project that needs to be managed. So yes, I think I can gladly accept the name Monica or the many labels the name itself conjures up.