Prompt: New name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
Have you ever seen the episode of Sesame Street where Big Bird notices that he is the only person on Sesame Street who has a descriptor rather than a normal name? He settles on “Roy” for a while, and then decides that he likes “Big Bird” best after all. This is how I feel about my name. “Susan” is one of the most boring names on the planet, imho. It’s a placeholder name for any random female. I used to try on noms de plume for myself, back when I actively dreamed of my life as a writer, and none of them were “Susan.” Many of them were glamorous, slanted towards the upper class or Continental Europe or both, but here is the truth that I have realized after nearly thirty years of life: I am Susan.
I don’t know if my personality was shaped by my name or if my self-awareness has influenced my definition of “Susan,” but I feel like it’s an apt description of myself. In my mind, “Susan” is someone wholesome and practical, funny and good-natured. I think of Susan Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia. Like me, she’s the oldest sister, and is responsible for her younger siblings. She gets caught up in temporal affairs, as I am apt to do, but eventually remembers to appreciate whimsy and the mystery of faith. I have tried being “Marie,” “Elizabeth,’ “Elaine,” “Taylor,” “Miranda,” “Olivia,” and so, so many more, but when I look in the mirror, these girls are all strangers to me. Susan– good, dependable, capable Susan– stares back at me. Internet, meet Susan. Susan, the Internet. 🙂
How do you feel about your name?