Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's in a name?

As I was walking my dog just a little while ago, out of nowhere it dawned on me that I’m experiencing a bit of an identity crisis…

You see, years ago I obtained a nickname through my marriage that I have grown fond of…”Bo”. It wasn’t a certain way that it was said and it doesn’t have any romantic notions attached to it for me, it’s just something that I’ve come to accept with a smile and am accustomed to answering to. Now that we are simply co parents and our relationship has taken a major change, he now refers to me by my given name. While I can understand his need to make the adjustment towards me, I sometimes mourn being called that snappy little name that best describes me on any given day.

At times my nickname made me feel fierce in a ‘no holds bar’ sort of way, at other times I saw it as a gentler side of me, in a shy little girl way.  In either case, I thought it was a perfect way to sum up ‘Bonita’ the woman. The problem is nicknames aren’t like the other things that you divide when a relationship is over. It’s not a couch or a favorite desk or the ugly lamp given to you as a wedding present, it’s an identity that was born out of a kinship.So how do you decide whether it stays or goes?

In an excited effort to reclaim my original self, I now go by my maiden name, but little did I know that the question of my nickname would cause such an inward dilemma. Had I given myself the name, then continuing to use it would be a non-issue but since it was given to me, I feel as if I am taking a gift that the other person would rather me throw away, which is a sad thought. I don’t want to throw Bo away. I just want to steer her in a new direction with guidance and anticipation. I want her to know that she is still snappy and fun and adored, not discarded.

I want her to know that she is still worthy of love and affection.

So, do we allow our loved ones to nickname us on the outside chance that one day they will no longer be our loved ones anymore? If so, do we make a personal pact with ourselves not to allow anyone to walk away with even a fraction of the person that we have grown to love and accept as ourselves?

I must admit, that either way, we are still just as vulnerable to the suddenness of change and the outcomes that go along with being ‘taken in’ by another person.

But this is just Bo’s opinion…


  1. Love this post, Ms. B. :) Luckily my first name isn't easily shortened but the husband has lots of pet names for each of us, which we all adore...and which only have meaning within that relationship, really. So yes, they would be missed. xo

    1. Thanks for joining my blog journey...enjoy the beautiful meanings that come with your terms of endearment. I'm all for love in the form of sweet words.

  2. This is very intereting because having been divorced twice, I've never even thought to go back and reclaim "my original name". I thought it would be easier to just continue on with "the name" instead of going through the paperwork of reclaiming "me". I have thought about this and now this blog may give me the "courage" I need to reclaim my maiden name. Hmmmm. You've given me something to think about.

    1. It's actually a very defining moment to return to who you once were and love that person just the same...enjoy the process.

  3. Personally, I think if Bo fits, wear it, whatever its provenance.

    A story.

    My niece used to call me Duh. She could not say Andra as a toddler. Too complicated. My brother was delighted with Duh, for obvious sibling-rivalry reasons.

    I came to love hearing her shriek "Duh!" whenever she saw me. She introduced me as 'my Duh' and talked about me incessantly.

    Her parents subsequently decided that Duh was not acceptable and told her she had to stop calling me that. I cried.

    I still wish somebody would call me Duh.

    So, if you want to be Bo, dang if I won't call you that from now on. xo

    1. Andra, your gesture is like a warm hug on a cold day. I think Bo and Duh sound like they would be great characters in a book someday :)

      Much love to you my friend.