Hello, my name is Jess. And for some odd reason, it's taken me forever to claim my name as my own.
It's not that I'm picky about nicknames (although to this day, there's only one person I let call me 'Jessy'). It's just that I always introduce myself as Jessica, have always thought of myself as Jessica, regardless of the fact that no one ever calls me that for long. It's like they somehow know (after exchanging very few words with me) that the simplicity and familiarity of four letters suits me better than seven.
Sometimes, I wonder if my mother knew that that's what would happen when she gave me my name, the first time she held me nearly twenty years ago. Other times, I wonder if I would be a different person, had she decided to call me someone else.
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
But anyway. I digress.
Lately, I've been thinking about the value that is found in what people spend your entire life calling you. Growing up, I always wanted to go by something more unique than the name I shared with millions of other girls. So I stole my mother's baby name book off the shelf and wrote out a list of my favorite, exotic names. I decided in my heart that someday I would travel the world, and give myself a different moniker everywhere I went.
Now that I'm older, though, I have learned the value of my name.
Jessica Lynn. "He beholds beauty."
And somehow, I think Shakespeare was wrong to say that a rose would still be sweet if it were called by another name. I think we call it a rose because of it's fragrance, its softness, its beauty. And I think that our names, in at least a small way, shape us into who we are.
Hello, my name is Jess.
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