Wednesday, May 10, 2017

When nobody knows your name

Ha! Has it ever occurred to you just how many people use a name other than their own on social media? Some are trying to stave off the stalkers and trolls. I used to use my pen name exclusively for that reason. But at one time, this left me so confused about my identity that I even considered changing my “real” name to my pen name to suit who I have morphed into.

Too funny! After all, everyone grows and changes with time. That doesn't mean we need a new name every time we have a spurt. Glad I realized that in time. LOL

I stopped using my pen name exclusively when I realized I was actually thinking of myself as Jaipi. Many of my writer friends still think of and address me as Jaipi, even though they know my “real” name now. Frankly, I'm thinking of dropping the pen name altogether, to avoid future confusion, but it's so deeply ingrained now. Sigh.... 

I guess what I'm really saying is that I'm the same person, no matter what people refer to me as. We all are. Changing your name doesn't change your history or your identity. It just changes your label.

I'm curious. If you know someone in person and on Facebook who uses a made up name for whatever reason, do you call them by their “real” name or their “fake” name? And if you use their made up name, pen name or what have you on Facebook, isn't it weird to call them one thing there and another thing in “real” life?

It's kind of uncomfortable and confusing for me, personally.

But check this bit out. I named my daughter after my sis, out of respect for all the support she gave me when I was coming up. But on social media, my daughter uses her pen name exclusively, just as I once did. And even though I once did the same, it still has a weird feel to it.

I mean, I chose her “real” name out of love. I thought long and hard to decide on it. It's what I have called her in “real” life for almost 40 years. So, having to call her by her social media name is strange. Stranger still, is when I have occasion to talk to other people who only know her pen name, because that's the only name they know her by so I have no choice. You feel me?

On the other hand, my daughter doesn't have my sister's “real” name anyway. Because my sis didn't like her real name, which is decidedly old fashioned. (Like my daughter, she was named after her aunt.) But unlike my daughter, her given name is one most modern people would not want to be saddled with. LOL

Does this all make me a hypocrite? I mean, the fact that I accept my sister's name change, but can't wrap my head around my daughter's name change? Probably. But nevertheless, that's how I feel.

Is all this name business just a tad too confusing for anyone else? Maybe it's just me, but I just feel like there should be less focus on names and more focus on life and living well. It certainly would be more peaceful and less confusing.

On the path for peace, there are many seemingly insignificant little pebbles like this. Gonna just shrug this one off and kick it to the curb. After all, whatever my loved ones call themselves, they're still the same person to me.

A rose by... Well, you know.

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