That’s not my name ~ by the Ting Tings
N is for Name
I love names. More specifically, I love looking at the meaning of names. Some even suggest that your name shapes your destiny. This theory isn’t all new agey hipster talk. Biblically, names had deeper meaning than just sounding clever, or popular. God Himself changed people’s names as they grew and changed, Saul became Paul, Abram, became Abraham and so on…
As a writer, I have the privilege of creating characters, making a place for them to live, shaping their thoughts and destiny…but it all starts with their name. I have to know who I am dealing with after all. In real life, I “randomly” chose the doctor-who-saved-my-life simply because her first name was Shirley, the same as my grandmother. Names are important. If I didn’t go with my gut reaction, I wouldn’t be typing this today.
I’ve known many people who seemingly “all of sudden” want to be called something different, adults and kids. My young neighbor wanted to be called Cinderella, for about a month last summer…and my son recently added a “y” to the end of his name. Musicians, actresses, writers…often switch to a pen name to better represent themselves. There is power in a name, so I respect this choice.
As for myself, my chosen name means….
Sylvie – belonging to, or from, the forest…..
Colette – victorious, or warrior (victorious warrior..)
So, I am a victorious warrior from the forest
this fits well, since my artwork, (and free time), centers around trees and the forest….and….. well, I am symbolically ‘fighting’ my way through a thick, dark forest…. (Symbolism is incredibly important to me)
Even though some name meaning websites seem to operate on a generic horoscope mentality…I love to read through the name meanings of myself and people I know. //Sylvie….”you are very versatile and creative…you are quick-minded and have the freedom of expression to mix easily with people….because your feelings and desires are so changeable, you are never satisfied with conditions as they are…..you have many ideas, plans, and ambitions….you seek change in order to have the opportunity for travel, new experiences, and new friends and associates. (http://www.kabalarians.com/index.cfm
) that’s all the nicey nice, I’ll take it. :)
N is also for Narrate
Names help me narrate the story of my life. Everything has a storyline, some completely logical and easily understood….others not so much. Whether I am writing fiction or non-fiction, for children, adults or bloggy friends, I have to have a running narrative in my head to make it all work on the page. (and in real life….relationships don’t follow a linear path. Since each person is essentially narrating their own story, it is a wonder when lasting connections are made.
Words hold so much weight. If I call my tasks for the day, “impossible” or say that I am “exhausted” everything is more difficult. But if I call the next hard thing on my To Do list, “challenging or exciting” the energy shifts. SO….I said all that, to end with this….rename, reframe the things around you, that pile of bills, the dying car, the mountain of laundry….give yourself a new job title…..
because names matter.