Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?
My confession today is that I've been thinking for a while now about changing the name I go by.
When I was a kid, my parents called me "Jenny." As I got older, I thought that was too baby-ish, so I asked to be called by "Jennifer" from then on. (My parents still call me "Jenny," by the way. :) But I wouldn't have it any other way. It just feels right coming from them.) So, most of the world called me "Jennifer" after that. Except for those people who naturally like to shorten names, who called me "Jen."
I went through a phase in High School where I wanted to be called "Jenny" again. I knew this really sweet girl who went by "Jenny" and I wanted to be that person. Plus, there were about 2.2 million people at my High School named "Jennifer." There were even 2 other girls in the school with my same first AND last name, since I have a very common maiden name. But my "Jenny" phase was short-lived and it never really stuck. And some of my close friends called me "Jen" anyway. :)
When I met my husband, he always called me "Jennifer." He even commented at one point when we were first dating that he preferred that I go by "Jennifer" just because it was a more beautiful and sophisticated name. So, forever afterward, I referred to myself as "Jennifer." (Although my friends and those people who naturally like to shorten names continued to call me "Jen.") LOL.
Then, you have the nicknames that have been imposed upon me over the years. My brothers called me "Knifer." That name actually stuck for most of my growing-up years. My husband (yes, the same one who wanted me to have a sophisticated name) decided to give me a nickname for the first half of my name instead of the last half. So when he's in a teasing mood, he calls me "Jennif."
So, what's the point of all this blab about my name? Well, I have a friend who decided she wanted to be called Cyndi instead of Cindy. It makes more sense with the spelling of her full name, anyway. I realized as I thought about it that the person I picture when I think of "Cindy" is different than the person I picture when I think of "Cyndi." I can't explain why, but it just is. Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about.
After that, I got to thinking about what name I wanted to be called by. I have a picture in my head of what kind of person each name represented. It's interesting how my image of myself changes as I think of just changing to a different version of my name. I can't imagine myself with a different name altogether. I know a couple people who go by "Jenn" and there's something about the image I have of that name that I like.
The fact that a lot of people call me "Jen" influenced my decision as well. :D For those of you who know me in real life, though, I'd like to ask a question. Could you think of me as a "Jenn?" It's crazy, I know, but I have doubts about whether I can pull "Jenn" off. I almost feel like I'm not cool enough to be a Jenn. Like I said, it's crazy. :D Am I the only one who feels so strongly about the image they have of themselves that's connected to their name? Or do you all get what I'm talking about here?
As my friend Ali pointed out, we sometimes have a hard time naming our characters because we want to find just the right name that fits them. And, of course, everyone has trouble choosing the names they will give their children. There's just an image that goes along with each name. And maybe everyone has a different association with each name, depending on the people they've known with that name.
Anyway, I'd love to hear all of your opinions on this subject. Do names evoke a strong sense of what a person is like? And, how do you feel about your own name, nickname, etc.? Do you feel like it fits you? Or would you change it if you could?