(Alternate Titles: “What is a Name?“ and “Names are Important”)
“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.”
– Hubert H. Humphrey
I don’t know what to call myself anymore.
I have been thinking about the power of names for almost a decade now, but never more intensely than in the past couple weeks. Lo writing about names made me realize that I could verbalize my conflictions. Maybe someone can give me advice?
Where to start… I have several names I respond to: Allec, Marcella, Cella, McGuire, Marcy, and Guire. I have a few titles: Bandraoi, Banfhaidh, Daughter of the Storm, Nic Stoirm, and Paíste ó Lugh — Child of Lugh. I also recently was given part of a name from Lugh. Not to mention I’m getting married soon, so I may be taking on a different legal last name if I so choose.
So what the hell do I introduce myself as?
In real life, I tend to stick with Marcella. Online, I tend to go by Allec. But as my real life and internet life are merging, I need to solidify a name that is more universal when introducing myself. Should I go with simplicity and the name I was born with, Marcella? Ah, but Allec… Allec is so gender-neutral and I love it for that.
I think about introducing myself as Cella now, thinking back to how my dad almost cried when no one called me that anymore. It’s such a familial nickname though, that I almost feel insulted when people I don’t like call me by it.
So what do I call myself? What is the name I hold above all else?
My friend had an interesting point made. Names have power, and by distributing that power across many names, it makes it harder to have power over you. I like that. I purposely kept some names out of this, because I may need them for verification later. Maybe connecting so deeply to these many names and titles is a strength, not a hindrance.
…but what the hell do I call myself when I introduce myself to people?
I thought I had more to rant about on names, but my mind is just stuck on that question and I need some feedback. If anyone has solutions, I’m all ears.