Friday, December 2, 2016

what is up with my name?

I have heard about body dysmorphia and, more commonly discussed lately, people who feel they were born with the wrong gender.  But I have never felt I had the right name, or at least not that I can remember.  It never felt comfortable on my tongue.  I never liked introducing myself.  I have learned to respond to it, but it has never seemed to be me.

So why haven't I changed it?  I could never think of any name I felt more attached to, that I would like more.  Even my SCA name, as much as I like it, is a specific person, it is not the everyday me.

More recently I have been thinking about my writing, and more specifically, submitting some of my poetry.  I googled my name, and there is apparently some well known math person who has it.  I had considered using a last name that is rumored to have been the name that should have been my name (long story), but I was still stuck with the Paula part.

Paula is meek.  If I looked different, Paula could be a bit exotic.  Paula is too classy for the room, unlike me.

Paula is anxious and insecure.  Paula is a victim.

The past decade or so there has been this second dynamic happening.  People who were my elders, who knew me as a child, have been disappearing into the next great adventure.  And somehow in the process, I started thinking about how my mom used to call me PK.  No one else ever did.  This is what she called me when things were going well, when she was happy and relaxed.  This is what she called me when she was pleased with me.

And I googled PK with my last name, and nothing came up.  It is unique.

So now I'm in a process of figuring out how to go by PK.  Most people call me mom, Grandma, Sadb, or Mama Sadb.  People at work call me Paula; it is right there on my badge.  I haven't talked to anyone else in person since I let this be known and changed it on Facebook.

But thinking about it makes me happy.  PK is more confident.  She has less anxiety, is a little less concerned about precise times and numbers.  She is me, but just a little better.  PK deserves to be loved. I don't know why this name would make such a difference, but it does.

I think I do not know all the differences yet, but I think PK doesn't really care to eat much meat, likes her rock music a little harder, and is more easily bored with TV.  I mean, this is still creative, spiritual, funny/quirky me, but a little more fiesty.

It is a scarey thing, at anytime in life, to decide to go public with some kind of identity change, just because it makes you happy.  I wonder what else I will get bolder about going after.  This could be interesting, I hope that I am brave enough to stay on the ride.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story, PK. One of my daughters, who we named Amber, decided to change the name she goes by. She ran into problems with car insurance, because there was someone with her same first and last name and birthdate who had numerous accidents. She had a different middle name and of course, drivers license, but the insurance company didn't look at that. Also she wasn't comfortable being Amber as she discovered she was bi-sexual. She was looking for another non-gender specific name that would be meaningful and discovered the name Faolin which means little wolf. It has Irish roots (which we have) as well as Cherokee, which she thinks we are from the Wolf clan there. It means a lot to her and all her friends and family love the name. When she started working a Wal-Mart (the same store I work at), she asked to be called Faolin, since she still hasn't changed her name legally. They agreed and that's what her name tag says (which is great). She also has a bright red mohawk hair style. One reason because her therapist said she needed to see bright colors to cheer her up. It worked and we love it. She is now living near us and getting the much needed support from family that she needed. The name change helped a lot. Well, that's some of my story. Ann.

    1. That is a cool name. Thanks for sharing the story. I am a big proponent of the idea that one of the best gifts we can give our children is to help them find and be their truest self.