The topic of this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge is the power of names. I can’t think of a better opportunity to formerly introduce myself.
Well…not quite. See, my true name is extremely rare. For instance, back when I worked at a grocery store, donning a name badge every day, I was frequently asked in what country I was born. It freaked me out at first, but then I embraced it, asking customers for their best guesses. They almost always suspected me to be Scandinavian…can’t imagine why 🙂
There were also a couple of instances in my childhood when, at the beginning of a school year, new classmates actually asked me if I was a foreign exchange student. Suffice it to say, if I went by my first or last name, I would be easily identifiable. I know what you’re thinking, but no. My parents never gave me a middle name, so that’s not an option either.
Funny story about that. In the beginning of third grade, my teacher actually pulled me out in the hallway and gave me a stern talking to. See, I didn’t put my middle name on my vocabulary test. This woman was convinced I was lying about not having one, that I was just being some unruly child. Though, I was an extremely shy, obedient child, so I didn’t argue with her. This resulted in several tears before she told me to get my act together. It was a traumatizing moment back then, but now I find it rather amusing. Especially being that I’ve met a few people since then who do not have middle names either.
Before I go further, I want to explain that I use a pseudonym as a way to protect my family’s privacy, as well as my own. Being that I’m not in my dream occupation and acknowledge the possibility of switching fields, I don’t want potential employers finding my blog while digging into my history and references. It’s not that I’m ashamed of anything I write here. The fact of the matter is that I can’t authentically write as myself if the account is in my actual name. Kind of ironic, huh? Another truth is that I’m an introvert, and I’m much more forthcoming with all of you here than I ever would be in person. In the future, I will decide to disclose a few personal details about me that I wouldn’t share with just anyone. Now, don’t you feel special? 🙂
I struggled with picking an alternate name because I felt like a liar. Honesty is my highest value, both with myself and others, so fibbing about my name didn’t sit well for a while…until I became more acquainted with the blogging world. Truth is, I’m definitely not the first anonymous writer, nor will I be the last. It’s not that I don’t trust you all, it’s simply that in order to truly write as myself, I have to change this simple identifier.
So, why Adelie?
Well, I’m extremely thorough in choosing names, based on their meanings, associations, origins, and popularity. I’m sure most authors are as well. It took me a few weeks to discover Adelie, but the second I found the name, I knew it was the perfect fit. I love using symbolism with flowers, elements, deities, and especially animals. And well, one day I came across this:
Yes. I did, in fact, name myself after a penguin. Along from the Adélie penguin being perfectly adorable, they’re quite interesting creatures. In the British Antarctic Expedition 1910, those who had frequent interactions with the penguins described them as extremely curious and bold, to the point where they are actually hazardous to their own safety.
Granted, I did not chose the Adélie because we have a striking resemblance. While I am similarly curious by nature, the word “bold” does not describe me in the slightest. On that same note, I’m extremely concerned with safety, not only of myself but the safety of those around me as well. In all seriousness, my concern with safety borders on the lines of OCD and neuroticism. Back to the point, Adelie!
My belief is that there’s always something to learn from other creatures. So, maybe if I strike a middleground between myself and the Adélie, I might be able to pursue my curiosity more thoroughly, with fewer self-imposed barriers. Though, I’m definitely not as skilled a swimmer as the Adélie, so I’ll probably wear a lifejacket and carry a whistle.
With curiosity and subtlety,
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