Venus Recommends: “Venus” by Sleeping At Last

The night sky once ruled my imagination.
Now I turn the dials with careful calculation.
After a while, I thought I’d never find you.
I convinced myself that I would never find you,
When suddenly I saw you.

The year was 2017. I had hated my name for years upon years. As a child, I assumed it was just because my name was common.

I won’t tell you the exact name but think along the same vein as “Jessica”, “Megan”, or “Kelly”.

I wanted to feel special and different and like my name meant something, something I could identify with. Every time someone called my name — I just felt fear and disgust. Coincidentally, I happened to have Sleeping At Last’s “Atlas: Space” album recommended to me around the time that I started heavily questioning my name and gender.

Each song is named after a different planet and the lyrics embody this kind of broad intensity that can only be captured by thinking of something celestial. I remember staying up late one night with a close friend and telling him about how I didn’t feel like a girl, how I hated my name. I told him that I wanted to be called something unique but was afraid of being judged or made fun of for my choice of name. I jokingly said, “I can’t just go by a name like Sunflower. People would tear me apart for that.”

I remember he just looked at me and laughed. He told me that a sort of hippie name would suit me well. That’s when it clicked, I wanted to be called Venus. I played “Venus” by Sleeping At Last constantly in my dorm room and while I was out and about. The decision didn’t feel spur of the moment or rushed at all. It just felt right.

I came out as nonbinary and texted my friends about my name change and from then on — I was Venus. Suddenly, I saw myself in a way I never had before.

Maybe, if you give this song a listen, you will find a piece of yourself in it too.

(Song recommendation by Venus Davis)