What’s in a Name?
If you could name yourself, what would it be? Why does that name resonant with you? A name defines us, and often once we change our name, something around and inside of us also changes.
What is in a name? Babies are always named before birth. Usually according to gender, or preference of the parents. Babies don’t always match their names, though. Sometimes when the parent's divorce and the babies are too young to speak for themselves, the name gets changed. Sometimes no name really matches the child.
When I was a baby, I was given the name Alice Lorraine. My birth sir name was Ventaloro. That is who I was meant to be. My birth mother left me while I was still a newborn (roughly four to six months, I’m guessing) and my birth father was working out of state. My sister and my brother were given to my maternal grandparents raised. At the time of adoption, my name became Mary (which I changed the spelling in the fourth grade). I’ve always hated that name. It doesn’t fit me.
As a stutterer, it was difficult to say my name. I’d always blocked on it. A little-known fact about stutterers is that we identify with our names, so it is often hard for us to get it out since most of us hate that fact we can’t speak fluently.
Later I experimented, calling myself Lorraine for a while or M. Lorraine. But still, it didn’t match who I was or fit me.
After moving to Idaho, I’d introduce myself to strangers and the response would be, “Glad to meet you, Erin.”
The first time someone called me that, my whole being lit up a like a Christmas tree. My second response was, “I love that name. That isn’t what I said, though.”
The person, whom I was shaking hands with said, “I heard you say ‘Erin.’”
That has happened to me many times since that first time. So often, I have considered changing my name to Erin. Others I have told say my whole being changes when I say, “My name is Erin.” And that is how I feel when I think it or say it out loud. It's named that truly does fit me.
What name would you choose for yourself?