What Is Your Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet…” Shakespeare- Romeo and Juliet

Some of you may have noticed my name is a bit unusual. Almost every day someone will ask me “is Marie your last name?” because for many women “Marie” is their middle name. As with anyone’s name there is a story behind it, a Personal Space story.

I was the last of ten children so the common names in our family clan were already used; Tom, John, Bob, Mary etc. I was named after a favorite cousin who was a Virginia with the nick-name Ginger. At first everyone called me Ginger then I rebelled because one of our neighbors had a dog named “Ginger” and the kids would tease me by whistling and call me as if calling for the dog. However by the time I reached Junior High, thanks to the TV show Gilligan’s Island, the name Ginger had a different impact; it was considered cool. So I went back to being “Ginger” as a nick-name for Virginia.

This name stuck for decades until I healed my childhood trauma and emerged from personal therapy. At this time I was also ending my marriage. It was just after my divorce, while painting in a watercolor class with my friends that I realized I could no longer sign my former husbands last name to my art. That name was alien to me and I didn’t want it on my creations. I also didn’t want to use my maiden name since I was estranged from my family. So my teacher suggested I create a new name that represented the “new me.” She asked what my middle name was. Yes, you guessed it, “Marie!” The whole class loved the way Ginger Marie sounded. I realized it felt like the new me as well. Yet when I went to make my new name official I found I couldn’t just drop the name “Virginia” because the child that I was with that name had endured so much I wanted to honor her memory, so I kept her name as my first name. So now “Ginger Marie” is actually my middle and last name.

When I went to create a domain name account for the books I write, I discovered the “germ” in “gingermarie,” so I decided to put in a hyphen. This also helps when people try to call me “Ginger Marie” as if it was one name like Ann Marie. Crazy stuff naming yourself.

So while William Shakespeare has a point about the name of a rose, it doesn’t completely apply to people. We need the name we use to express who we feel we are inside. It may not hold the same meaning for another but it is one more way we express our light openly with the world and do life our way!

How many name changes have you gone through during your life? I’d love to hear your Personal Space story.
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

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