What’s in a name?

Romeo and Juliet
Spoken by Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Do you like your name, the name you were given–the name on your birth certificate?

I don’t like my name.

For as long as I can remember, every single time I hear someone call me by my name, my very first thought is “that’s not my name”.

Is that weird? Am I weird?

For a nanosecond, I have to remind myself that it’s ME they’re referring to, because not only do I not like my name, I really feel that it’s not actually my name.

“Oh, you’re talking to ME?”

I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the one that’s on my birth certificate.

I remember telling my mom that I didn’t like my name and that I was also curious why my brother had a middle name but I didn’t, and she told me to choose my own middle name and it wouldn’t be legal nor official, but it would be something special just for me.

So I named myself Aurora, because that’s who I identify with. Aurora means dawn, but I chose it because of Sleeping Beauty. Princess Aurora (also known as Briar Rose) is the daughter of King Stefan and Queen Leah. On the day of her christening, Aurora was cursed to die by the evil fairy Maleficent. We all know she’s awakened by the prince’s kiss of true love. My mom read me that story so many times, i memorized it. What she failed to impress upon me was that it was just a fantasy, not real life.

Only one person has ever known that’s my secret name.

Some call me Rose or Rosebud, even Angel Boy refers to me as Princess (which is pretty funny when he does it in public, haha), but none of those are my given name, either.

When I meet new people or I’m introduced and asked what I like to be called, half the time I don’t have an answer or I say it doesn’t matter or I’ve even asked what do they think my name should be? What do I look like?

Additionally, no one can spell my real name right and that’s part of the problem, I think. I’ve spent my entire life correcting the spelling which only contributes to my possibly delusional introspection that I’m a mistake–an aberration; a typographical error.

Maybe I don’t really exist. Maybe I’m a character in a fairy tale minus the fairytale ending.

Being and nothingness. Maybe Sartre had it all figured out–this little existential crisis of mine isn’t even original. (Or NON-existential, in my case.) This existentialist philosophy is a study of the consciousness of being. Or not being, which is tiring my non-existent brain.

Except the one name I always respond to with a smile in my heart is “Grandma”.

Or “Mom”.

Because that’s who I am.

Always. Always. Always.

3 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. My name is boring and commonplace. When I was in junior high school I ended up with 5 of us Susans in one math class. But I’ve lived with several iterations and nicknames, so I’ve actually gone by about 5 names, not to mention Mom. Which reminds me, when my son was in speech therapy (age 2), one day his therapist asked me what my son called me. When I said he doesn’t, she spent that day’s session on teaching him to call me mommy. For the first time ever, when he wanted me he called me… monny. Until he could pronounce the “m” sound in middle of the word.

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  2. I have never liked my name, either. I have thought about changing it, but I couldn’t find anything better. I like that it is strong and a unique spelling that I feel gives it a better energy than the traditional spelling. I guess I am just too lazy to change it. My husband rarely uses my name – does he feel it doesn’t fit, too? He calls e “sweet pea.” I like that. It is lighter and happier than my strong name. I want to be that way with him. Everyone else draws upon my strength until I feel like I am almost used up. with him, I want to be that inner blossom. Ha, ha. Now, I’m starting to sound sappy. But since you are Rosebud, I thought you’d understand.

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