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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

What IS in a name?

Recently I was asked whether I go by my full first name or the shortened version. It kind of threw me for a loop. People don’t normally ask, they just decide between the two and go with it or call me both interchangeably. So I started thinking.

I guess I’m a woman of many names… If you know me from back in the day online days you call me Neo (my love also calls me Neo.. but a more naughty Neo.. ;)..) or possibly Lyrik, If you know me from before undergrad you probably call me Jessica (because I use to be super crazy about not shortening my name unless we were extra tight), if you know me from undergrad and you are LGBTQ then you call me Pacey (there was another Jessica already in my circle), if you are either my mother or my little sister you call me by a name which I will not put on here because people like to catch hold to it and never let go, and if you know me from after undergrad till now..then it’s just a free for

I guess I don’t care because I actually HATE my given name. Not because I don’t think it is a good name to have or that it doesn’t have it’s benefits. I just don’t think I look like a Jessica. It’s kinda cool to surprise new people (like in interviews) with who I am. Since I was 16 I’ve been aware that people think they are going to meet with a nice white girl when they read my name and talk to me on the phone (my voice sounds like a and then BAM..Black chick with natural hair walks in (and now a MOC presenting Black chick walks in). People really do tell on themselves all in the face would think I would be more than happy to just tell everyone to shorten my name to just Jess and keep it moving.

But not so much.

I like Jess MUCH better but there is still a disconnect between me and that shortened version as well. (and I also have aversion to ppl thinking that my shortened name is related to my MOC-ness and my discomfort with feeling like there is some judgment in the “labeled” communities that wants to outcast you if you don’t conform to things like not having a girly name.. and my feelings of living life in the middle..but that’s another blog for another day) I’m also so not use to introducing myself as Jess… but I almost always close things like emails with it. I love when Jess is a name given to me out of love…I hate when it is a term given to me out of coolness.

Confused much? Me too.. I guess I’m writing this blog just to air out all the things in my head around this. I guess i’m trying to figure out how important a name is to me and if my name and it’s meaning take up as much space in this universe as your spirit and actions and truth…is your name suppose to reflect those things?

I admire my friends who have taken/discovered names that fit them…and I know so many people taking new names for a million different reasons.

Maybe one day you all will come here and I will be announcing that I am claiming a new name… maybe I’ll always be some mash up of the names that seem to change to fit the time period in my life and that sometimes measure how close you are to me.

Or maybe.. I’ll be like Prince when Oprah asked him what she should call him and he replied “Friend, I hope”


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