Give yourself a new name – it can be your secret name that you just call yourself in your head or you can make a name tag and put it on all of your clothes. Work towards a new, happier, identity. (A)
I have the name my parents gave me on my birth certificate and I have many other names as well. Some of them are cutsie names bestowed on me by boyfriends past and present (Sugar Booger Bear, Lobster, etc). Some are nicknames given by friends – more or less flattering depending on why they call me that. In junior high, several friends and I had “code names” that we used when writing notes to each other – these were our “rebellious bad girl” alter egos – that with maturity seem pretty silly. (I was J.D. and two of my most common conspirators were Pepe and Angel Dust). And then there is my rockstar name – my stage alter ego for this character who is a much magnified confident facet of me who fears nothing. And who is to say I should limit this? Here on this blog, I am merely “A” – originally meant to be anonymous, but now easy enough to find out. And I have decided I have nothing to hide – so if you know my real name and ask me about this blog – I will not deny it.
A name has power to be certain. If someone knows your name, it gives them a certain claim upon you. They “know” you. When they call out to you, you can pretend you didn’t hear, but for the most part you cannot refuse to acknowledge them without a certain implied rudeness. When I call my cat, Rambo, Commando Kitty, she knows her name and looks at me. Depending on my tone, she knows I am angry or pleased – but she always knows whom it is directed towards.
Sometimes there is safety in a new name. One friend of mine has a public artist name to escape toxic relatives. Another who hosted wild parties had a “party” name to separate herself from that character in her professional life. And now with all of these blogs and Facebook accounts and Internet escapades that a future employer may find you by – it certainly behooves you to have an alias for your more adventurous escapades.
BUT you can always change your name. You can do this legally, whether by marriage, divorce, or that you are willing to pay to become someone else. Or, you can always just give yourself a new name. This could be a character you appropriate in your head to give you courage or imagine into adventures (ala “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber) or it could be an alias you use in the real world. Say you have a nickname you really like – keep asking your friends to call you that and eventually they will do it unconsciously. Then, when they introduce you, that will be the name they call you by and Voila! Everyone will know you by that name.
If you don’t like who you are and when people hear your name they say, “Oh THAT Attila the Hun. I’ve heard of HIM.” – then work on a new identity. Build that persona, make that a person that people remember with joy. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a lawyer from British India became Mahatma (Great Soul) Gandhi – the father of an independent India. Johnny Allen Hendrix, a boy born in poverty in Seattle became Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. While these name changes are more common as stage names, as great Shakespeare (or whatever his name really was) once said,
Become who you want to be!