W. B. Yeats said, “The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.” 

I love this quote.  It’s so true.  But what of our names?  What of us?

Clearly, I love my name.  I mean, it’s the title of my blog. 

Okay.  To be honest, it’s not actually my name.  Joie is my nickname.  It’s the name I chose for myself, and I love it.  It’s the embodiment of all I want to be as well as all have been.  It’s the mood and passion of my own heart, presented to the world.  I’m a big fan of the chosen name.

I spent years trying to figure out who I was (still am, in many ways), as is normal.  It’s pretty easy to mark exactly what phase I was in by what nickname I was going by.  My family gives me never-ending grief about this.  It’s not that I wouldn’t have happily gone by any of the three nicknames derived from my given name if a single one of them had fit.  However, after trying each one out for several years (and I think it can be agreed that a four-year minimum trial of each name is more than fair), I felt as uncomfortable in my address as I did in my own skin.

The first problem was an easy solve.  Thankfully, my first guess was solid.  Since I went off to college and started my adult life, I have been Joie.  I have been pursuing joy.  I stopped needing to worry about being uncomfortable from the moment I introduced myself and started worry about why I was uncomfortable alone with myself.  I was, for the first time since I could remember, properly named.

Now, this is not to imply that the name that my parents gave me isn’t perfectly good.  In fact, my middle name is so lovely that I plan on passing  it on.   But naming isn’t about lovely or perfectly good.  That’s something I’ve learned as a writer.  Naming is about what fits

And so, after many years of figuring out what fits best for me, I’m looking forward to when my children come.  Sure, I’ll give them a name.  I can’t wait to find out what name they give themselves.  Their moods, their passions, their names: what an interesting world they will lead me into.

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