Friday, November 21, 2008

What's in a name?

Yeah, I know that I said that I wouldn't do the emotional stuff over here but just allow me this one post. Because it's not really all that emotional.

That name I used on that other blog? (Well, actually three blogs if you want to be exact.) I came up with that one on the spur of the moment. (It's from a book if you're wondering.) When I created that person, I was trying to find my voice again and my love of writing. Mission accomplished. But then I realized that there were other parts of me that had been forgotten over the years and I was now ready to reclaim those parts of me as well. Funny how I had to be someone else for almost four years to become comfortable with being me. To find me.

My parents were kind of hoping for a boy when I was born. They had not really given much thought to names for a girl. So when they were told that they had had a girl, they were kind of stumped. Originally my name was supposed to be Alexandra. I've always liked that name. (In fact that used to be my bar name -- just like "Jade" was my best friend's bar name.) The name they ended up giving me? Not so much.

I made my first attempt to change my name at age four. I came home from nursery school and announced that my name was now Suzanne. I also remember being Tonya and Linda at various times as well. I forget the other names I tried out over the years. For some reason, my mother refused to call me by any of these other names.

Around age 12, my mother gave me a suggestion. I misheard her. What I heard was "Kailyn." What she really said was a variation of my real name. After I realized my mistake, I decided to stick with Kailyn.

As I said earlier this week, I have been making doll clothing since age seven. By the time I was 12, I was starting to tweak patterns to make them what I really wanted. I was also making dolls to wear these fashions. (I've never been able to draft a pattern from scratch. Instead I find a pattern that is close to what I want and then alter it into what I really want it to be.) I started signing my drawings with the name Kailyn. By the time I was 18, it had morphed into Kailyn's Creations.

All those other names were me trying to escape from who I was but Kailyn, in being a play on my actual name. has always been a part of me. Kailyn was the woman the 12-year-old me wanted to be. And while I may not have all the things that the 12-year-old me wanted -- a husband, three to five kids, a house sitting on at least an acre so that besides having cats I could have dogs, horses, and various rodents and reptiles -- I like to think that the 12-year-old me would still be pretty happy with the present me. And those other things? They could still happen.

And so it seemed only natural to let go of that other name in creating this blog. Because for the first time in a long time, I think I'm honestly happy with being me. It has been a long road getting here and while part of the journey was painful, I now know that it was all part of the process. And I wouldn't have it any other way.


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