What’s In a Name
A couple years ago when I got my first dog I felt crushed by the responsibility to name him. This is what I would yell at the dog park, what everyone would call him, it will shape his identity and personality. The pressure! I finally landed on Charlie, which has turned out to be perfect, but caused me lots of mental consternation.
One of my first thoughts when I got pregnant a couple years later was, what am I going to name them? I freaked about my dog and this is a human child! It will shape their whole life! Their identity! Their personality! Their job prospects! Dating! It was the hardest decision my husband and I made in the whole process.
When I was talking to anyone who would listen about my stress over my baby to be’s name choice many said, “well if they don’t like it they can change it.” Or “my cousin so and so goes by his middle name.” Or some variation of people casually choosing a name that they like better. Apparently people change their names all the time! While it did relieve some pressure, I still feel like a name is so important. I think it does shape your identity. It represents who you are to the world.
With all the name contemplation I realized I really don’t feel like a Lindsey. I’ve never felt like Lindsey. When people said my name it always felt like they’re talking about someone else. It’s not that I dislike the name, it is a perfectly classic and lovely name. It just never felt like me.
I floated the idea of going by my middle name to a few friends and they weren’t concerned or even phased. ‘Great, do it’ was the response. I realized I was the only one making a big deal about it and it’s my name after all. So Diana it is. I’m not going to change my legal documents or make a stink if anyone calls me Lindsey. But I’m going to slowly make the switch and next time I make reservations and the hostess calls “Diana?” I’ll feel like - yep, that’s me she’s talking about.