Embracing Your Name

January 20, 2011 at 7:34 am | Posted in Family Ties, Life and Living | 12 Comments
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photo credit: exponentialprograms.com

I don’t know if there is something in the air or what, but I can name five women I know who are currently pregnant… and another two who just had babies… and several others who became moms in the past few years.  It’s just that stage in my life I guess.  Whatever it is, there is always several initial questions on the minds of the friends of the pregnant — one being what the child will be named. And with my first nephew just a couple of short months away from entering the world, I can’t wait to find out what we will call him!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a bit of an obsession with names.  I have a name book that interprets names that I used to create characters in my early short stories.  Like any writer, the characters are typically based on someone you know, but you don’t want to simply use that person, so you come up with a similar persona and a name to match.  I cast myself as “Molly” in my short stories.  I’m not quite sure why.  I think of Molly’s as sort of shy, deep thinkers, hidden beauties.  I am definitely not shy, though I do think of myself as a deep thinker.  Perhaps I just always felt like I was waiting for someone to discover something great in me, and this is the way it manifested.  Who knows? I was like, 13.

Whatever my thought process, the idea is the same when you name your child.  You are creating the character you hope your child will be.  The only difference is that this is a real person who has to make that name work for them for their whole lives.

I always liked my name.  There weren’t a lot of Dana’s in my school so I was able to feel fairly unique growing up, which was important to me.  I did not really like my middle name.  To me, Blair sounded very old.  It took me a long time to grow into that name.

We live in a time where people are becoming very… unique with their name choices.  As someone who is all for unique I am surprisingly not likely to follow this trend when I enter into mommyhood.  A person needs to be able to live with their name, and be able to make it their own.  Kids will always make fun of each other and giving a kid a tough name can make them an easy target.  I feel like there are so many beautiful names that have deep roots in history, names that aren’t always thought of and in that way can become unique.

But it’s all up to the parents to make that major decision about how their children will be first presented to the world, what every first impression they will make will be like.  And all parents want something different for their children.  I think the most important idea overall is to have a name that you can make your own.  Your name becomes part of your identity so you need to embrace your name to embrace your identity and come into your own.


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  1. In my stories I used to be Claire. Lately I’ve been calling the me-characters Kara, though. I honestly don’t get Kara, because I don’t necessarily think it’s a cute name. Claire totally is though and I wanted it for my own because if I was Claire, I was cute and popular and had my life together. (Amazing the things a name can conjure for no apparent reason, haha.)

    • seriously! and good to hear from you. I must admit I am behind in my blog reading so I need to catch up. Maybe using Kara shows different aspects of your personality beyond your obvious cuteness. 🙂

  2. I hate to brag but I love my sons name…Miles Ellis Johnson…like his dad he has no choice but to be exceptional!

    • yea, he’s still young. He may hate you for it. We’ll see! 😛

  3. I have two small kids and naming them was a long process. Our first, a boy, was named by a game to occupy time. I was about 4 months along and hubby and I took a trip to the coast. Driving home we hit a huge pot hole and the front tire popped like a balloon. We (rather hubby) changed the tire to the spare and we had to drive 20 mph for about 100 miles, maybe more. I started naming baby names, we didn’t know the gender yet but started with boy names. I asked hubby to think of names starting with A, then B, and so on, say “I love you …” and see how it feels. Making a list of any I liked as we blurted them out. After safely arriving home, I put the list away. I kept thinking back to this list and once I found out it was a boy, one name stood part: Benjamin. I had to see him before I made the final decision, and I still liked the name.

    • Some things are meant to be. I do like that name. Don’t worry I won’t steal it. May not go well with my possible future husband’s last name. 🙂

  4. I gave you a blog award because your blog is awesome. Go pick it up http://theboyfrienddrama.blogspot.com/2011/01/birthday-celebrations-and-blog-award.html

    • awww, you rock! My first award! I will wear the badge proudly!

  5. I used to hide my real name Matteo and just go with Matthew. All b/c I was worried that I would get made fun of and I did growing up.

    • not surprising, but at least you are owning it now

  6. My mom named me Mana after some actress named her SON Mana, after “Manna” in the Bible. I owned up to the original, unique name most of my life, but had come across 3 others with the same name in my lifetime.

    Now that I am married to a Hawaiian guy, Mana is a somewhat common name, and it means “magical power” in Hawaiian. Now, I have difficulty being absolutely content with my name knowing that it’s a MALE name. But I suppose, it’s my name after all. And it’s me. I just have to make it me.

    • Mana is a very powerful name, clearly across cultures. When I was in Hebrew school, we did this exeercise where we had to think of celebrities that had our name. A the time, all I could think of is Dana Carvey, the male comedian/actor. In a world where the lines of gender are clearly blurred, I’d say you got away with a really meaningful unique name!

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