There are so many ways this post could go, given the title I have chosen. We could explore William Shakespeare’s play Romeo And Juliet where he penned the oft used quad of words. Of course, I borrowed them from him, he is, after all, one of my favorite poets. Juliet spoke these words to Romeo to help him better understand that their love was strong and had nothing to do with the feud between their families.
Actually, I want to teeter between two other areas where a name can or perhaps may not be important and also season it with the area where Mr. Shakespeare roamed.
Recently, a friend sent me a link to a site she has been working on regarding her adoption many years ago. After she sent me the link, I spent an hour combing through it and reading all the little tidbits she had shared. Many people around the world have been adopted. Some, when told of this, struggle with their identification. They wonder who they are and why they had been given up for adoption. Many other questions, I am sure, go through their minds. Having never been neither given up nor adopted, I cannot speak from personal experience. I have, however, had friends who were adopted and speak out of this experience. Not all persons who have been adopted question any part of it, the just accept that the family which adopted them chose them, chose to love them and raise them.
When I was about six, my parents were separated. I remember one night, very late, Daddy had come to the house. I recall waking up at the sound of my parents fighting downstairs. He came upstairs at one point and got me out of bed. I think he had already done this with my brother and now it was my turn. We sat at the top of the steps and talked. I was young and sleepy, so things were confusing. I remember smelling the alcohol on Daddy’s breath as he spoke in hushed tones leaning close to me. He asked me who I wanted to be. Did I want to be his daughter and have his last name or be like my mother’s side of the family? Not knowing what he was asking, I think I said something to the effect of, “You are my Daddy.”
As a writer, I use a nom de plume or pen name. There are writers from history who have averred that writers will only use a pen name to be able to speak truths they would not speak otherwise. Many also believe writers use an alias because they have much to hide and desire to remain concealed. I chose a pen name, mostly because my last name at birth was long and not easily pronounced. I decided to use my initials and the last four letters of my last name to simplify things.
Words have meaning and names have power. ~Author unknown
If you walk into various arenas and mention certain names, all noise and movement seems to come to a screeching halt. It’s kind of like those old television advertisements for E.F. Hutton. I play with words. Every word has a meaning. I choose my words carefully. Names, no matter the name, will have power. Be it personal power for the individual, familial power for a group or global power for those who will lead, names have power.
Historically, when a woman married she would take the family name of her husband. In contemporary society, this is not always the case. There are times the husband will take the name of his wife. Sometime both will hyphenate both surnames and each would use it. And there are those who just choose to keep the name they were born with.
While a name identifies a person, the person does not necessarily become the name.
I have had a number of names over the years. Actually, to set that record straight, I have been known by a number of other names. Other than in gaming and certain social media which allows you to create an identity for security and safety, I have been known mostly by my pen name. This does allow for anonymity, which can be a blessing.
As my given name causes me issues, I am in the process of saving the money to legally change my name. I am at a point in my life where I know who I am and what I want. I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. I have grown into who I was always meant to be. Yes, I will be changing my name to be closer to my pen name, but that will not change who I am. I am me.
Seeking who you are if you are adopted and looking for answers, or even trying to get a sense of where you fit in the grand scheme of things with your family, your friends, or the world is within the normal parameters of maturing. These are all good paths to travel, if this is what you desire.
What’s in a name? This depends on who you are, who you want to be, who you are meant to be. Above all else, no matter the label you wear as an individual or family, be true to you.