“That’s a shame! You had such a pretty name.”
I had never really thought about it. It was a pretty name.
A debate popped up regarding who I was named after. My mom had told me it was a mixture of my dad and her best friend; a name they made up by mixing the two together.
Here stood a high school friend I had never met before, telling me I was actually named after another classmate of theirs by the exact same name.
Surreal is probably not a strong enough word to describe this moment. I was surrounded by people I had never met, who were openly sharing their disdain for the woman who raised me, at the funeral services of the man who chose not to.
They were debating the significance of a name I no longer had, and could never use again.
It had been years since anyone had called me by that name. It was actually very uncomfortable, a trigger of sorts. I had only just gotten to a point where hearing my given name didn’t bring flashbacks of all the reasons I had to change it. That’s the real shame.
“Yes grandma, it was a pretty name.”
Sure, my new moniker might be a little bit more ordinary; but that is by design. I picked a name with the hope it might match a couple of others in the phonebook; a name that didn’t leave bread crumbs from my life for those who would try and bewitch me.
“My new name is pretty too.”
The difference is, this name has real significance, it means something to me. Not only did I get to chose it, but I chose life when I changed it. My name is a reminder of the strength and courage I have held onto in the face of extreme adversity.
My new name literally means “The Truth and The Light of My Innermost Soul, My Truest Self.”
Every day it reminds me to honor my life, be true to myself, and let my light shine brilliantly.
The look on my face must have been priceless. I am not very good at masking my thoughts; in fact, I’m quite terrible. The sarcasm rolling around in my head must have been piercing.
“How could I possibly go another minute without knowing which of these strangers inspired my name sake, my identity?”
Oh, that’s right.
It was me.
Header picture is one of the views from the very first mountain I ever climbed.