What’s in a name? What’s mine?

Standard

A way we define ourselves
Our nationalities
Our culture
Our traditions
Our family

Whenever my sister and I found ourselves under the scrutiny of our parents, because we had done something they felt was wrong, the statement – “I gave them my name” was held over over our heads. In retrospect; I never really paid it much attention. More recently, though, I wonder, what was my name before my adoption?

Does a name really define us? It is the one of the primary ways others define us?

If we look to conception; we start out simple and then grow into so many other roles. But that singular word; our first name defines us to our immediate family and friends later on; our surname will define us to many others throughout our life time.

We start first as

  • Baby
  • Gender defined
  • child
  • sibling
  • grandchild
  • niece / nephew
  • cousin
  • etc.

then we change into the age related categories

  • infant
  • toddler
  • preschooler
  • elementary school aged
  • pre-teen / prepubescent
  • teenager
  • HS senior
  • HS graduate
  • new driver
  • college student
  • college graduate
  • worker bee
  • spouse / SO
  • parent
  • middle aged
  • retired
  • senior
  • referred to in the past

and the cycle starts again

Still, I may be all of those things whether here in my life sustaining tribe or with my original tribe. The fact is that I was adopted, and welcomed into someone else’s tribe; that I appreciate. But the question still lingers – what is my original name. Like that age old Zen Koan; ‘what was your face before you were born?’

What are the names of my biological tribe?

  • my parents
  • my sibling/s
  • my grandparents
  • my cousins
  • my aunts
  • my uncles

Where would I be today if I had remained with my original tribe?

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