What would you have called yourself had you chosen your own name?
Back when I was into the Babysitters’ Club, I would have called myself Stacey or Claudia. When I was a hippy in college, I was kinda going for Willow or Storm. Both of those still kind of make me happy. I could go with either one and feel content.
Please don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Erica. Mom chose it after watching soap operas all through her pregnancy with me. Something about Susan Lucci’s character on Days Of Our Lives. I don’t know. But no one calls me Erica. They call me Hooty. They call me this because of something I used to do as a child. Whenever we were in a store, I’d ask, “Who is that? Who?” to everyone that passed. My father eventually looked at me, threw his hands in the air and asked, “Do your feet fit a limb? You’re like a little hoot owl!”
They only people that call me Erica are the people that don’t know me and people at work. Sometimes, I forget to respond to it.
Jenny calls me Rico. Carmen calls me by my last name. My Grandpa Gene calls me Ca. Sometimes, my father calls me Lou.
But what if we chose our own names?
I always figured that the names people chose for their children were the names that they wished they’d been given. I know that I’m in love with the names I have picked out for girls (I’m not telling you, because you’ll steal them). And the names I have picked out for boys are names that I believe encompass who I would be if I were a boy.
Some Indian (Native American, for you PC folks) tribes choose their own names when they gain a certain understanding of who they are. Often these names are based on an aspect of nature or animal. Well, they already call me Hooty, so do I choose to stick with the owl? Do I still maintain that desire to know who everyone is? Does that stick to me? I like to think that everyone I encounter, I try to learn something about “who” they are.
In terms of elements of nature, I could do without living by water or mountains. But I love the sky, and wide open spaces (not-so-subtle nod to the Dixie Chicks). I probably belong in Kansas, which is also a name I wouldn’t mind having. She Who Sees the Sky? Cloud-Wisperer (spelled incorrectly on purpose–get it? Wispy clouds?)? Sky Owl?
Prairie Storm. That’s it, because of the way I can explode like a storm front. Maybe… But I don’t live on the prairie. I live on the plains of Ohio (ask Mike–he’ll tell you how wickedly flat it is). But “plain” has so many denotations!
What would your name be? Would you choose a nature name? Or would you just change your regular name?