So, doing these writing exercises with names reminds me of the “name crisis” I went through as a child. Though I enjoy having the name Shannon now, it wasn’t always the case. It sounded odd to me, especially coming out of my own mouth, and I also went through a bit of a case of “grass is greener” syndrome.
I wanted to be a Sarah. The name Sarah sounded lovely, smooth, and graceful, a regal name for a little princess. As I grew up just a little more and began to read more, I wanted something unique, a name no one else would have. Because of the (ridiculously cheesy) movie “Three Ninjas,” and with one of the characters having the name Colt, I decided I wanted to be called…. (it’s embarrassing even mentioning it) “Filly.” My prodigious powers of hindsight cause me to cringe at even considering it, but I had a lot of super-great ideas when I was a kid.
I never really brought up the idea of changing my name, of trying to get others to call me anything else… until 8th grade. At the beginning of the school year, our teachers called out each of our names on the roll-call and also asked us what name we would like to be called. I mustered up the courage to speak up in a couple of those classes and *gulp* asked to be called Filly. One of my teachers approached me after class and basically said, “I respect you, but I’m not calling you that.”
One of my other teachers obliged, and thus that was my name in his class during that year. I’ll admit I enjoyed writing that name on the top of assignments, but felt increasingly embarrassed being called upon as time went on. Even after that year, I would occasionally still be called by that name, but fortunately high school came along with a new campus and new teachers and a chance for me to accept wholeheartedly the mantle of Shannon.
I have still toyed around with the idea of going by a different name from time to time, and with the advent of widespread Internet usage, I became accustomed to being called by number of different aliases. To some, I’m still Amethyst Star. To others, I’m Aletha Prime. To a smaller group, I’m just “E.”
While I’ve enjoyed going by various monikers, I am Shannon. There’s always the chance that if I was ever published that I would go under a pen name, but I’m content and happy being the Shannon my parents know and love.