Jun 23, 2022

WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

It’s been a while between drinks, almost as long as a full-term pregnancy. It’s not that I haven’t had a lot to say, I just didn’t want to say it out loud. Well folks, I have worked out holding in how you feel it’s not a good place to be and it’s not great for your head space either. So, I am taking the plunge and here goes. I hope you like my latest blog.

Those who know me know how I name my things.
Yes things! I normally name them after the brand. My suitcase is Paul, one of my handbags is Jimmy, my chair is Louis, but you get my drift.

I remember when I lost Paul a few years back. I was frantic! I posted on Facebook that Paul was missing. It was funny, my friends knew who or what I was referring to. Others were so worried OMG I hope you find him, without realising I was referring to my suitcase. I appreciated the concern; Paul is important and has travelled to many destinations and kept my things safe for a long time.

Crazy as this may sound, he was on an excursion to Melbourne rather than checking in with me in Queensland. What was he thinking, he turned up a little battered 2 days later.
Paul has never travelled cargo again! Insert – COVID. Paul hasn’t travelled period.

It can be a dilemma when you have to part with your things, when you have no control, and when the authorities say to you two days after Paul went missing that the case belongs to Brian, and you find yourself in a full-blown explanation about your name. Paul belongs to me, and to prove it was my suitcase the airport staff made me empty the contents in front of them, embarrassing or empowering? I will let you decide.

FYI, they said my name correctly at the end of this kerfuffle.

I had to part with some furniture recently because it just doesn’t fit in our house.
I feel like goldilocks. I tried the chair in every room, and it just didn’t feel right. So, I changed the chair. In the first room it looked too big, the next room wrong colour, but the third room, just like Goldilocks, it was just right, so that it where it is today. I think Louis likes his room.

It makes me wonder, why do I feel the need to name things? My name is not common and most days, I spell it, pronounce it or advise the other person I’m in a conversation with, I am not a bloke, well not today anyway, I reserve that for when I need to make a decision and the best excuse in the world, I will ask my other half, Brian and say my name is whichever version grabs me at that moment, anything from Bree to Blair. “Oh, you both start with the letter B that’s pretty cool”, yip they do!

We seem to get so caught up with names, yet as parents we don’t think about the consequences of how our name lands when we as children grow up. When we are little, people ask your name and it’s cute, cause let’s face it we are all cute when we are little. I remember meeting a little 8-year-old girl named Sunshine, I often wondered what she goes by these days. I found out recently its Sunny. I guess Sunshine isn’t cute when you are over 40.

The cute rule does not apply when we are older and people ask your name and then you have to spell it or pronounce it, you get the drift. At that point, you lose where you were going with your conversation because it shifts to being all about your name. It gets boring after 40 (cough) years.

Were you named after someone, is your name a family name, do you know anyone with the same name, blah blah and blah.

I think I can confidently say, it sucks! I would not and did not call our children unusual names because it absolutely, categorically defines you and your person. I actually believe that we send a wee message in the uterus, and we somehow name ourselves in some strange way. Mum gets a feeling, a knowing, a just because it’s sound right. We grow into our chosen name; we make it our own, we jiggle it a little. How do I want to be remembered Briar Rose or Briar Patch?

So folk when you name your babies, they are cute and cuddly and small, but here’s the thing, they all grow up eventually. Names matter. Hollywood changes actor’s names all the time, actors change their name to sound more mysterious, cooler, smarter, and perhaps taller. Name your little guy or gal so that they carry that name through life with pride.

Have you ever noticed how people with the same name have similar traits? It’s one of those quirky things I notice.

There is a girl’s name that I won’t mention, but let’s say they are all blonde, blue eyes and pretty. Weird right? Maybe it’s the universe saying if your name is Blah then you will be “poof” (insert magic wand action here) you will be blonde, with blue eyes, chatty and pretty and?????

It shouldn’t matter what name you use to introduce yourself, but it should matter what name your parents gave you. Offended when your kids want to change their name. I think you should be.

I think there was a beautiful reason for the name your parents chose to give, but spelling people, spelling, that’s what matters. What matters is how you spell Caitlin.

Have you noticed how many different ways can you spell Caitlyn, or Caitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaitlin. Get my point and no Caitlin is not the blonde above, Caitlin’s generally have brown hair.

Names are like star signs, some traits stick.

I recently needed to show my ID. This raised so many issues with my name.

It’s crazy how different nationalities have their own method of naming children.

Balinese people name their children depending on the order they are born, and the names are the same for both males and females.

The firstborn child is named Wayan, Putu or Gede, the second is named Made or Kadek, the third child goes by Nyoman or Komang, and the fourth is named Ketut. If a family has more than four children, the cycle repeats itself, and the next ‘Wayan’ may be called Wayan Balik, which loosely translates to ‘another Wayan.

Yet here in the western world we spend so much time varying a name from Caitlin to Kaitlyn, simple to say but guessing how it is spelt can be one of many versions.

I have come to love the Bali way, simple using rinse and repeat.

So, with that in mind, when I brought a new suitcase (that has been hiding in my cupboard for the past few years), I decided to follow their KISS principal.

There’s Paul and Big Paul and baby Paul (he’s blue) and it kind of removes all the stress and all of the need to be different. Ultimately, we are all the same, just in different ways.

I am happy to be same same but different and for the record, I love my name, even if it is a prickly rose bush.

That same prickly rose bush has beautiful roses, so I guess I am my namesake, prickly and beautiful all in one package.

Big Dog (that’s Big Paul), and I went on a little trip recently, so I decided to follow that simple approach with everything that I packed.

What I found most interesting without saying my name out loud, every Balinese person I came into contact with said it right every single time.

They live life at a slow pace and a get around to it approach to life, so perhaps they are taking their time to think about it before speaking out loud. Everything takes so long to do or get to, that’s how they survive every single day.

Whereas we are so busy being busy that we are rushing around and don’t have time to pause for a moment to read my name is Briar, not Bree, not Blair, not Brian and my all-time favourite Bree-r-ra.
Oh yeah, I wrote a blog about that! (https://burstingseams.com.au/did-i-tell-you-i-was-busy/)

So, from now on, pause before you say it out loud, pause before you say things you might reject and if you can’t pronounce it, just call me BP, my friends do. 😊

Life is a journey – it’s not where you end up but how you got there! Thanks for coming on mine.

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