To me, names have always been inescapable.
They aren’t something that should change over time. Once they are created they’re set in stone, a word that will forever be linked to a concept or a person.
But that shouldn’t mean that a name is a death sentence. The word itself is linked eternally to you, but you have the power to affect the feelings and ideas that that word represents. What I find interesting about names is that they are short, and single words, so I hear them as sounds rather than words in a language. This means that a name is simply a sort of code to me, a collection of sounds that are tied to memories and opinions and feelings. This collection acts as my definition for another human being.
Since I’m always interacting with people, though (well, perhaps not as much as some people do, but I hope you see my point) that definition changes. The meaning of the name changes. It’s what I have always liked about my brain and the human race as a whole: we can have multiple opinions, we can decide between multiple theories that we give credit to, and we can change our minds. I have an extremely powerful ability to do this, and I can go into that later. But, for now, I’ll stick to the names topic.
Why is this so important? Why the names question? Why now?
Some of the names on this blog were chosen at a time when I lacked additional context and evidence. When I believed that the name of one girl in particular should evoke nothing but pain, stress, frustration, and anger. And other bad feelings. I hate to be so harsh, but at the time that was an accurate assessment of my relationship with her. It was not that I didn’t care about her. I tend to try never to let a friend go. Not really. But when I tried to show that I cared… well, at the time, I felt vaguely like my heart had been ripped apart. Ugh, is that too exaggerated? Seriously, it hurt. A lot. I thought I had explained myself properly. Obviously I hadn’t, and that led to what must have seemed like a straightforward reaction from her, and what felt incredibly painful to me. Needless to say, I burned that memory, along with earlier ones, into her name as harshly as I could. And, at the time, I think that that was a fair thing to do. The evidence at that point showed that she was someone who had caused me a lot of emotional pain and her name had to reflect that.
But as the end of the school year came and went the collection of words in my mind when I type that name changed significantly. I don’t feel anger. Not live anger, anyway. I remember the frustration, the pain, the anger, all that. But it’s overwhelmed by new developments.
I like most people. Let me put that out of the way. Respect, though, is a separate issue. People have to demonstrate to me that they are, at the very least, KIND and BRAVE. Basically, they have to be thinking. Being kind generally means being thoughtful, taking other peoples’ feelings into account, etc. Being brave means overcoming fear, standing up for what you want, etc. And the kind of apology that she delivered, and has continued to elaborate on, has earned my respect.
With respect comes pride. My natural protective instincts kick in. I don’t think there are voices muttering bad memories about her in my head anymore, when I see her name. They are probably still there, but I can’t hear them. There is a more powerful sound, that of respect and rediscovered friendship. My heart understood that I was missing an important friendship this past year, even if I didn’t. And now I am more satisfied, stronger, and happy to know that somewhere, deep down, there’s a kind of loyalty that never, ever dies. That’s what’s been added to the legacy of her name.
I know this was a vague post but I thought it best to leave names out of this one. Sorry about that. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, that’s okay… You will live, I promise. As always, thanks for reading.