Defining Oneself

Seven years ago today I chose a new name for myself, a name which I felt better fit who I am. My birth name had never reflected me. Instead, I’d spent most of my life trying to fit the name. It finally occurred to me that it was high time that I got rid of what wasn’t truly a part of me.

And so I began searching through names, finding their meanings, looking at the numerology involved, imagining myself using various names, listening to the sounds, and so on. Once I’d found what I thought was the perfect name, I announced my decision to family and friends.

I then lived with my new name for six weeks, just to make sure that it truly felt like me, before I made it legal. The process was surprisingly easy, and as I stood before the judge in a room mostly filled with infants and children who were being adopted, I proudly asked for the right to bear a name of my choice, a name which reflected who I am.

Over the years I’ve never had even a moment’s hesitation that I’d made the right decision. My name fits me better than I could ever have imagined. Now, I’m watching a couple of my students going the same thing, but for different reasons. I’m very supportive of their changes and the way they are searching for their true identity. Names are important. They are an integral part of who we are.

4 thoughts on “Defining Oneself

  1. In life, it appears we have many names. I like the Native Peoples tradition of being gifted a name at birth, then acquiring one when becoming an adult and then getting even another when becoming an elder.

    Nicknames are sometimes other peoples choices. Some are not as kind as others. And then there are those that get accepted by spouses who take on the name of the family they are marrying into (not always the woman taking the mans… or however a couple or pair (or in some cases group) defines themselves – by hyphenating or, keeping one’s birth surname.

    Continue to grow into the name you have chosen for yourself. And much luck to those students who will soon identify themselves with new names.

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