Old Shirt Comfort

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Source: Say Your Name

Here’s the big reveal. My first name is Caroline. Nice to meet you, too. Virtually.

Not only it’s sad that currently I do not live up to what I presume an elegant, albeit old-fashioned, name, the origin story of why I had been given that name was even more tragic. My Mum decided to name me over her favorite protagonist of a fuzzing soap opera which was then portrayed as the epitome of a woman. Yyyyup. I’m sorry, Mum, but no.

I tend to feel a little out of place once I realize a few things regarding my name. The first one is probably noticeable from what previously was mentioned: my name is basically wishful thinking. Also, where I am from, mildly put, Caroline sounds foreign and very pretentious to some who sees it as an attempt to give your child a “cool name”, thus the fact that it has a Western origin made it even more outrageous. Lastly, twenty something years walking the earth, I am still trying to get used to the name because at home, people call me with a very specific nickname which I am not inclined to share with many.

Very well, then, it comes down to the question: would I rename myself if given the chance? If only I am able to come up with a decent, not too cringeworthy name to call myself, I would. In other words, I kind of want to, but can’t bring myself to do it.

Of course, there is the issue with me being indecisive. Classic. Yet mainly it has to do with the idea of being able to rename myself. It is almost as if one abuses power that is suddenly bestowed upon oneself. Is it not almost vainglorious to change one’s name if your current one is by no means ridiculous or highly bully-prone? I have no problem whatsoever with the law enabling an adult doing so. I just personally feel that names have always been ascribed, and having it stuck like a glue for at least seventeen years of age, it made it somehow irrevocable.

As my stress level went up to the most preposterous of levels because of thesis-procrastinating, I did have a thought of dyeing my hair blue and changing my name, only slightly, to Coraline. Now imagine me trying to tell everybody I know that I have a new name–it’s Coraline, not Caroline–and convince them to call me as such. Considering the number of people who are my extended family, my friends, colleagues and superiors… will that not be too much of a bother? This is what I meant by names being predetermined in nature; everyone’s stuck with one forever unless they “start anew”.

Furthermore, will anyone be able to come up with a name that is exactly befitting his or herself? Is it not part of the human element to be selling oneself either too high or too low? Well, mostly the former, though. Nevertheless, it’s never quite right. And even if anyone can, at least I personally think I don’t possess such capacity.

I reckon there is also this point when people eventually “live up to” their names. Not exactly how one’s parents like it to be, or as accurately to the designated meaning or characteristics one’s intended namesake have, but there will be a moment when people will go, “Oh yeah, you kinda suit a Joshua”, or at least, “I can’t imagine another name for you except for the one you have now”.

And what was it? Right, there is more than a name to a person. So it should not matter as much to either settle with it, or change it. Talking about perspectives.

Since it’s too troublesome and I am unable to do it without clenching my fist too much I might end up with crescent-shaped holes in my palms, I guess I should just embrace the name and get used to people calling me that without being too self-conscious about the stigma around it. At least it’s not as bad as my middle name. Oh, don’t get me started on that. I really just want it gone. Again, I’m sorry, parents.

Oh well, thankfully enough, I still have my relatively aight nickname.

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5 comments

  1. Ryan · February 8, 2016

    It’s just my opinion but your name, Caroline, if indeed classy… even though it had it’s origins from a soap opera (though that’s kind of neat, you’re the first one I’ve every heard admit such a fact!).

    Like

  2. The WheatandTares · February 9, 2016

    Your post made me smile, as I used to be in your shoes, disliking my name; however, my dislike was more due to the lack of correct pronunciation and constant teasing from peers I received as a child. I have since embraced a nickname, as well as, become quite comfortable with my birth name. My family, now, switches back and forth between the two, and even though it feels a little odd sometimes when my grandmother says, “Mia,” I still answer to both. 🙂 Embrace it. Love it. Reject the stigma of it. It is who you are destined to be, and your perception of it is the only thing that can truly hold you back from becoming it. 😉

    Like

    • pointlessphilosopher · February 9, 2016

      Hahaha, “destined” is quite a big word, at least now I find the name tolerable. But I’m glad that you have come to embrace your name, Mia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Raise the Bar | Just aimlessly questioning life

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