How One Becomes 'Eva'
Late in 2005 my daughter told me about a game she and her husband were playing and suggested I'd like it. It was a MMO (massive mutliplayer online) game and I'd never liked any MMO I'd tried before; I was in no hurry to investigate.
It took a few months, but eventually I agreed to sit beside her and watch her play. Then she suggested I make a trial character and give it a go myself. It took at least 15 minutes before I was a complete, and lasting, addict to World of Warcraft.
By the summer of 2006 I found myself running a guild (online group within the game world) of over 100 people from around the world who met regularly, and daily, for events, questing, or just hanging out to talk about new babies and upcoming holidays.
While I ended up with 3 accounts for a few years, and many characters in the game my "main char" (most used character) was a Holy Paladin that healed others and tried to do good deeds. I'd wanted the name Evangeline for my paladin character, thinking it sounded a good holy sort of name, but the name was taken. I changed the ending to my own middle name, Leigh, and Evangeleigh (E-van-ga-lee) was born. Which quickly became Eva.
In upcoming trips to various cities and countries to meet up with friends I was making online, I was always introduced as Eva - the name by which they knew me best. Over time my daughter and son-in-law called me Eva as often as Mom or Mona. :D
Eva was just me. Not my job, not my place in my community, not my past. Eva was the lady enjoying herself, relaxing, and being happy in the company of her family and friends. Eva traveled a lot, both in online games and on many, many planes (from Australia to Azeroth) to visit friends. I liked Eva.
Mona is my birth name. Mona works, supports charities, pays bills, is a mother, ex-wife, ex-programming instructor, and nutritional counselor. Mona deals with the harsher realities of life.
Eva just is. She's just me without the titles and roles life requires of us. She "Lives life happy, and builds it beautiful" in games like Minecraft, Sims 3, World of Warcraft, and Elder Scrolls Online.
I was born Mona. I am Eva.