What’s In A Name?
The first thing that identifies you, how you connect and recognize the persons in your life. Do you like your name do you know what it’s origin is, do you know how it came to be yours? Have you ever asked yourself, what does it all mean?
I never liked my name. Growing up I was teased about my name. Throughout school year after school year I had the familiar rhyming song ringing in my head. I longed to have the pretty, simple, common names the other girls had. I believe I was an entirely too serious child, for if I had not been I would have shaken off the teasing. I would not have internalized the hurt I felt, but I did. The crazy thing is one morning not so long ago I realized the silly little song should not have hurt my feelings so badly, I should have not just ignored what was being said for it clearly had no basis in fact. I should have asked the question that changed the way I felt about my name and even if I was not able to explain it in a manner that would stop you in your tracks, I would have possessed the confidence that would not have allowed the hurt to penetrate. I even had to laugh at myself for allowing that song to shape the way I approached so many things.
Given the horror(I am being facetious) that was synonymous with my name. When I really examined it the worse thing about it was that it was a name that could be considered “old”. Nothing could be worse than to be a young girl with an old woman’s name and a name that a rhyme could be associated with…. I lived out my school years carrying that name. My family and people who were close to me only knew me by that name. One day after a particularly difficult experience I told my father I was going to change my name as soon as I was old enough. I hated my name so, I asked him who had named me and why?
Years later I wanted to make sure I did not give my children names that would allow them to be made fun of or have names that made them feel bad for any reason. Living through eras where children were named for fruit, planets and combinations of words that the very folks who name them cannot explain and/or oftentimes spell. I could never forget what I had gone through for all those years. Yet, I know everyone does not hate their name. Some people are actually happy with the name that says”This is who I am”. I wanted to caution the child-bearing individuals about the label they attach to their little ones. Stop yourselves and think it through. In present times we are able to know what the sex of our children will be long before they arrive. Therefore give yourself all of that time to work on and work through what you want the world to think of when they hear your precious baby’s name and the reason you gave them that particular name.
Presentation can truly make a difference. My name, the name that I could only associate with being old, the name that allowed my classmates to create a mindless rhyme that haunted me all through school, the name I WAS going to change, was given to me by a man I had nothing but love and respect for, MY FATHER. My name was from biblical times and described a fragrant beautiful flowering tree. It was s said to be held sacred to Venus, an emblem of love. My father named me for three ladies he had nothing but respect and admiration for. It was his way of saying to them, this is my precious baby who I love with all of my heart and there is nothing that would give me more joy than for her to bear your name and follow in your footsteps. I never changed my name as I told him I would when I was old enough.
When you name your children I hope you are able to tell them something as wonderful as my story about their names. Tell them early in their lives and tell them often so they never forget.