Browse By

Hi, my name’s _____. But does it matter? (Pro)

A name is something that can never be taken from you. For this reason, some may argue that your name can tie you down, preventing you from escaping the identity you were born with. However, such arguments fail to recognize that as you develop and mature over time, the names you are addressed by will be molded by your personal growth.
To start off, it is important to realize that a name is not inflexible. The people in your life will adapt your name to fit the versions of you that you express around them. Your friends will give you nicknames. Your teacher will call you by your formal names. Your parents will call you both, depending on how angry they are at you. Everyone that knows you adds a specific twist on your name to reflect the person they see inside you. With each of your names, a different version of you is revealed. Nonetheless, none of these versions of you are more important or more real than any of the others—each one simply captures your relationships with the different people in your life.
Names also allow people to accept both their past and their present. By embracing one’s last name, you are able to carry your roots with you, while your first name gives you the power to mold the future for yourself. By synthesizing the past and the present, you can embrace yourself in your entirety in order to march confidently forward into the future.
Personally, as an identical twin, I’ve had to make the journey in forging my own identity. In order to find the person I am meant to become, it was necessary for me to find something to distinguish myself from the twin identity I was born with. My name is something I take pride in because it has set me apart from my sister, and it has supported me in realizing the person I want to grow into.
Although it may seem arbitrary on the surface, a name truly does provide a significant role in shaping the people that we become. However, it is the use of the name, not the name itself, that ultimately proves to be powerful.