Sometimes I wonder why society is obsessed with names: the giving of them at birth, the validity of the surname of a person, the meaning behind said names. It makes me wonder why it even matters. What about people that don’t like their names? They’re given a name that doesn’t fit them, flatter them, what have you. Regardless of this, however, your name becomes you. Yes, a person is more than the arrangement of a choice of 26 letters, but to a certain extent, a name has a way of becoming an empty glass for you to build your personality in. While that’s not a bad thing by any means, it’s just weird for me to think about.
Like, you could strip away everything that I am, everything that makes me, me, and at the end of the day you’d still be left with a calling card, a stamp that proclaims who I am to the rest of the world: Morgan. Even if I legally changed my name at a courthouse one day, there’s no way I could change the way I label myself Morgan. I don’t think I could change.
And so I guess what I’m saying is I think it’s interesting how society evolved in such a way that our names stay permanent for the duration of our entire lives. Sometimes I wish that we could be born into a name, and then given a chance to choose our own names somewhere along the way. I wonder if we’d naturally choose to keep the moniker assigned to us at birth, or we’d choose to adopt something more suited for the person we made ourselves to be after the fact.
When I was younger, I always wanted to be named Max instead of Thomas. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Thomas, I just thought the name Max was really cool. I created characters with the name Max and sort of made them how I wished I was and I would make up stories involving Max and everything(I wanted to be a video game designer and so I would plan out video game stories). I named characters I was playing as in video games Max. My email had Max in it and my usernames contained Max. I even gave him a last name: Max Star (A terrible name I know). I don’t know why I did it, and my Mom has talked to me about how much I seemed to like the name Max. I wanted to change my name and for a while I thought about doing that when I got old enough to do it.
Other kids would always ascribe things to me because my name was Thomas(Mind you, this was in Elementary school). They would say, as a joke, “Hey, I want to be your friend because your name is Thomas and there are a lot of famous people named Thomas and you will probably be famous someday.” and it hurt me because I thought “You want to be my friend because I might be ‘famous’ someday, but not because of who I am now?” and I struggled a lot with bullying and feeling like I had no friend for all of Elementary school. I think I kind of wanted away from the name Thomas and thought if I changed my name, maybe people would like me more. I think that is why I created this whole separate persona in the form of Max Star. The character of Max Star was the cool kid I didn’t think I could ever be, or at least he was super cool to me. I was sort of grasping at straws trying to understand why I was being bullied and everything, and for some reason I seem to think my name had something to do with it, as if I had a “loser name.”
It wasn’t until my grandfather died that I really started to feel more comfortable with being Thomas and steadily started to not want to change my name to Max(or to really use the name for things anymore). I was named after my grandfather, who I actually didn’t even have any kind of blood relationship to, and his death was really my first experience of death of a loved one. I sort of felt like I needed to uphold the name of Thomas after that, if such an amazing and awesome man like him couldn’t do it any longer(since he was dead). Now, I love the name Thomas and I would never change it to anything else. I am Thomas, and accepting that I think was the start of me beginning to slowly and steadily come out of my cage.
Until two weeks before I was born my mom thought I was going to be a girl because I was positioned funny during most ultrasounds. I was going to be named Samantha. Instead 2 weeks before I was born my mom suddenly found out she was having a boy and lacked any good names so my grandpa ended up naming me Shane Justin. Shane came from the western of the same name and I think he just liked Justin.
There however was an issue. My uncle, the son of the grandfather who named me, was named Shawn Joseph. An uncle as a I grew older I came to hate. All my life I’ve had grandparents sometimes accidently call me Shawn and it really rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t want to be associated with my uncle. He’s an asshole.
((Being a geek sometimes about name meanings, Shane has a special irony to me since I’m an atheist and the root name of Shane is John which means God is Gracious. Ha. -1 point to me.))
When I learned I was supposed to be named Samantha, I asked why they didn’t name me the masculine version of the name Sam / Samuel, but my mom told me she wasn’t fond of the name. I’m still sorta fond of it. Probably because in my head somehow I doubt my grandparents would mix up Shawn and Sam. Although they probably still would. =p
During my early online years I was either Fawkes or Wulfric, in the last 5 years that’s transitioned to Mal. I’ve become extremely attached to the name Mal. Mal is my name most of the time. I can go several days to a week or more without someone directly calling me Shane, but 95% of people online call me Mal. I have friends that pretty much exclusively refer to me as Mal.
I’ve even considered legally changing my middle name to Malcolm so Mal could be more than an online nom de plume. I’d never change my first name because my family would still call me Shane, as evidence by an aunt who changed her name to Hope and is still called Melinda.
So yeah. I guess my naming obsession is more of finding and claiming a name that is my own. I mean, I’ve never ever met a Mal or a Malcolm, but there were like four Shanes at my high school. Bluh.
American Pie 2’s DVD had a special feature where you could listen to all the music clips that got played in various scenes throughout the movie. That’s where I got into Blink-182 (Everytime I Look For You) and New Found Glory (Hit or Miss).
You should add Fact: I’m not Batman…but then that’s just what Batman would say.
But, Sean, I am Batman.
Full list of the shows I own under the Read More.
133. When I get a drink from a fast food place I never put ice in it if I’m the one filling it. I hate ice.
It just waters down the experience.