Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something You May Not Know

When I was a kid, I didn't like my name. I actually had a hard time with my name until I was an adult -- just a few years ago.


Why didn't I like it? Because my name was "Different". Do you know how many times I wished I were an Amy or a Jennifer? Why couldn't I be a Heather or a Kelly? Perhaps an Angie or a Julie? In any grade of any year during my elementary school years these were common names in multiples. In fact, in my afternoon Kindergarten class at Concord Oxbow there were 3 Kelly's. Yep, Kelly Row, Kelly Webster and Kelly Koolidgeschmidt. During High School my group of friends had 3 Julies. There were so many common names, but not one person I knew was named Emma. Or at least not in my "decade."


My great Aunt's name was Emma. But, she was "old". I had heard of an actress named Emma Thompson, but she wasn't in any of the kid's movies I'd seen. I remember when adults would ask me my name and I'd say "Emma", the most common response I'd ever get was "My grandmother's name was Emma!" Great, I used to think. I have an old lady's name.


When I was around age 14 a lady at church was pregnant, and told me that she and her husband considered the name Emma for their baby. But then they opted for Emily. I remember thinking, WHY would they choose EMMA? When I was a senior in High School Kindergarten Cop came out. There was a little girl character named Emma. I thought, "Wha-???" But that movie must have been the catalyst to bring that name back. Because that year, it seemed like babies were being named Emma left and right. Even my cousin named their baby Emma.


For nearly 20 years the name Emma has been near the tops of the popular baby name list. I remember when I was 19 and pregnant, someone asked me if I had a girl if I would name her Emma. Immediately I said, "no", and then someone close to me said, "Good. I don't really like that name." Even though I was embarrassed by my name, it really hurt to have this person say this to me. But, I continued to feel that my name must not be a good name.


But then, a few years ago, I had a close friend tell me all the time how much he loved my name. And Big-D would tell me that he liked my name too. This actually made me feel quite a bit better about my name. And during the course of the last 2 1/2 years (since being divorced) I have realized that I actually *do* like my name.


It's true, it might be a "different" name for people of MY generation. But let's face it, I am different from others of MY generation. And I don't just like my name because it's "in" all of a sudden. I think I grew to like it, because I grew to finally like me... love me, actually.


There has been a lot of trials and challenges and moments of discovery and clarity about who I am. To reflect upon the things I have endured is actually quite empowering. To ponder the discoveries I have found about myself is quite exciting. To finally feel like "me" in my own skin is quite refreshing. And to finally love my name is...fulfilling.


And I do love my name now, because I love me. If I were having a baby girl and someone asked me today if I'd give her my name...I just might say "yes"... at least for a middle name.


Oh - and just don't call me "Em" without prior written authorization :) That nickname is only reserved for certain men I am endeared towards... and a very few close friends :)

13 comments:

greenolive said...

Well I always liked your name because it WAS different. I hated having a plain name. I would hear people say my name so often because it was so common that I wouldn't even bother looking up. I just assumed it was another Sarah they wanted. I also never wanted to go by my middle name because I felt it was vain. Isn't that funny? I thought Rose was vain? I thought people might think that I thought I was as pretty as a Rose. Oh well, I suppose the grass is always greener.

Susie said...

Now, you can't turn around without meeting a little Emma:-) The name is back, Baby!

Charlotte said...

I think it's funny how opposite we reacted to much the same situation with names. I never knew any other kids with my name either - and I have the same name as my great grandma. But I LOVED that I didn't have the same name as three other kids in my class. I liked being different - it made me feel special.

Cassie the Sassie Lassie said...

I actually like your name. It's so simple... "emma". I, too, considered naming my daughter Emma, but things have changed. If it helps, I never really like my name. But I have (finally) come to terms with my name.

Ruthykins said...

i always wanted a pretty name. ruth sounds like a dog barking. that's why i prefer ruthie. i'll take cute over dog sounds any day. i wanted to give my girls beautiful names, but kept getting shot down by my husband. we settled for cute and meaningful names. oh, and i also got the "my grandma is named that" more times than i can remember.

okeydokeyifine said...

Isn't it funny....We put a lot of care and thought into the names of the children. Good, substantial names. Names with meaning. Names honoring family and friends. I did not use nicknames because I liked their full names. Sorry it back-fired.

Big Sis said...

Everytime I hear the name "Emma" I think of you. And maybe as you look back now, all thehardship you endured earlier in your life was preparing you for the even more difficult challenges you went through later in life. You R 1 touch cookie! Luv ya!---Amie

Big Sis said...

You R 1 touGH cookie...its suppose to say!

RhondaLue said...

Oh crap. I might have called you "Em" before without prior written authorization! If I did, WOOPS! I tend to do that to people I feel comfortable around, which isn't all that many people but my friend Rachel is always RACH to me, my friend Tamra is always TAM to me, etc. :)

I love the name Emma and I two of my friends named their little girls Emma...you're right-it's "in" now! :)

Tulsi said...

Talk about different names!!!!!! Could my parents have spelled it Tulsa at least??? Since birth I've had to explain, "yes it's said Tulsa, Like Oklahoma, but it's spelled differently" when I'm introduced to someone. It's a whole different story if they see it's spelled. I have to get into why. One time my mom said she wanted to name me Heidi. Could that have not been my middle name? A normal name? Where the heck did Fae come from. On an up note: I know if people actually KNOW me or is someone else on the phone. Kass refused to give me the phone if someone asked for Tulsee. He always told them they had the wrong number. It could have been a neighbor, ward member, etc. I have lots of people in my ward call me Tulsee. I don't really notice if they say it. BUT spell it RIGHT!! I forgive the first time. I'll call you Emma. It's only two more letter's , right?? People call me Tuls and that is one letter missing. Maybe they thing they can't mess it up to that part.:)

Puphigirl said...

Rarely do I meet someone with my name, Naomi who is my age or younger. They are usually older. And, I often hear, "Oh, my (great) aunt's (grandma) name is Naomi."

Alice in Wonderland said...

I actually love the name Emma! Just think of Jane Austin's "Emma" or any other romantic heroine.
It's strange the way that names come and go out of fashion. I know Olivia, Alivia and Elivia, and I so envied original names.
If I ever have my own children, I will make sure that none of them are called after any of my relatives!
I may just give them numbers until they are old enough to make up their own minds!

Catherine said...

Our 10-year old's name is Emma. Love it! Just sayin'. And I too have issues with my own name. Especially when people ask what my name is, I say "Catherine" and immediately after they call me "Cathy." My mom always said, "If we wanted you to be called "Cathy" we would've named you "Cathy."