I’ve got a friend who is a little disappointed in me. I can understand that. Since we met, I have a problem with his first name. In the beginning, it was just a feeling and I thought maybe its coz its unusual. But with knowing each other longer he told me a bit more about himself and how he got to the name. It’s not the name his parents gave him, but his friends called him that for years and so he changed it legally.
So by now, it is his name. As he also argues, it’s in his passport, so I should call him by his name. And I will but it’s hard to explain why it feels wrong to me. Even as I didn’t know how he got the name, it didn’t feel like it named the guy in front of me. To me it’s not his true name.
His parents given names might not be his true name either in the magical fairytale sense, but from the few births given names I picked one that sounds ‘more right’.
Regardless of how it feels to me, I understand that that bugs him.
We talked about it a few times and I have no clue why I’m so stubborn about this. It reminds me of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in Shakespeare’s lyrical tale of “star-crossed” lovers. Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, not the Montague name and not the Montague family. And yet, changing the name doesn’t change that he is a Montague in the end.
I really don’t like my name. My parents intended it as the Russian version which means ‘Hope’. At least in the Arabian version, it only means ‘morning dew’.
But the way it is intended it implies so much and it ties you to cultures and lots of people get insecure on how to pronounce it when you’re travelling. I had been thinking so many times about changing it. Using a name that is less pregnant of meaning or meaning I can better identify with. Something people can pronounce and have fewer problems with spelling. But every time I am going through the train of thoughts, something stops me.
My parents had a reason to call me Nadja. It formed me as I was young and it just belongs to me in a deeper way. Whether I like it or not doesn’t matter really.
Having said that, not everyone has to feel this way and I am very ignorant to force this ‘feeling’ I have on to someone else.
I still have the feeling that I am doing a poor job in explaining how deeply and essential the feeling of naming once child goes for me. Naming anything really.
I guess it has a lot to do with my idea of how important ‘first times’ of things are. For example, after you have seen a firefly for the first time, it always will be pretty, but it will very likely never trigger the same feeling of awe and magic as it did that first time. It defines subconsciously what a firefly is to you.
Maybe if I think about it a bit longer, I will find a way to explain myself better. For now, I will obey and call him as he wishes to his face and call him as I think right in my mind at the same time… hopefully, that solves my feeling of “wrongness” as well as his.