2013-01-12

Mom Before Mom: What's My Name Again

My friend Carla is hosting this amazing link-up - encouraging us to do something that many of us don't take time to do, write about ourselves, about who we are, and who we were before we became "Mom".

1/12 How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?

My full name is really nothing fancy. For both my brother and I my parents turned to the Bible, he is Nathan, I am Elizabeth.

I don't have a middle name, neither does my brother or most of my cousins on my father's side, or my father or any of my uncles.  I guess we were too awesome to have more than one name, making it easier for us  if we had Madonna like aspirations. (sidenote: None of us have Madonna like aspirations, in fact our singing at my grandfather's burial was so ear splitting that it reduced us all to goofy giggles and even louder singing....don't worry my grandfather would have liked that!!)

I never loved it, never hated it, in my tiny private school I was always the only Elizabeth (or "Liz" or "Lizzy") in my class. The only other "Lizzy" I knew was several years younger than I was so sharing a name with her had no affect on me.  My name wasn't unique, nor was it too common, at least not until I got to high school, at which point in a class of around 200 there were 6 of us.  Honestly even then I really didn't mind and that only lasted the 3 years at that school. 

As for my middle name, or lack there of, I LOVED it.  I was never embarrassed by some family name or having people try to nickname me by it - I was (almost) always just Liz.  My dear friend in high school gave me a middle name for a year, she decided it should be "Solveig" (Norwegian for sun I think) I was ok with that.

Now I had no problem with my name, never cared that anyone call me anything different.  I had special nicknames within my family (Peanut, Little Bit) and I enjoyed those as well. My father once told me he originally wanted to call me "Lia" but my mother convinced him otherwise, part of me wondered if a different name would have made me a different me, but I was content with what I had and never dwelled on it too much.

Now to be honest with you, there are a fair number of people that never knew me as Liz, Lizzy, or even Elizabeth.  When I moved to college my brother gave me a necklace, simple black leather necklace with the letters Z-E-K-E on in in large black and white ceramic block shaped beads.   It was a joke between us, and his name for me when he went to college (2 years ahead of me).  When I walked into my first day of freshman orientation, with not one familiar face in the crowd, I wore my necklace as a sort of security blanket, it made me still feel safe and connected to home. One of the first people I met at school, a sweet blonde haired soccer player who would become one of my dearest friends while I was there, decided that "Zeke" was far more interesting than Liz, and fit me better.  He made sure as we met new people and roamed the campus that everyone called me by my new name and I went with it.  (Do you know how many people I met with a dog or a cat or even an uncle named Zeke? It almost felt more common than Liz).

It was years before anyone other family and old friends would really start calling me Liz again, and there is a small handful of friends who still call me "Zeke".  I vividly remember the first time my now husband, then boyfriend called me Liz, it felt strange at first, but more intimate and special, like we had known each other our whole lives. 

So that's it, that's my name, who knew describing Elizabeth-no-middle-name could take such a long post?!

If you want to read more stories of other bloggers and their names, or if you want to join us head on over to my amazing friend's blog All of Me and check out the linky there!!