When you hear the word “nostalgia” in the context of your own name, what comes up in your mind?
How do you define it, how far back does it take you, and what emotions does this word trigger within?
As humans, we do not take the time to reflect and measure our own growth on a daily basis. In fact, for most humans, it is ‘go, go, status quo.’
Unless you are forced to stop in your tracks to “remember when” … or something you see, hear, smell or taste takes you back to when you were five, or ten or ten years ago, you do not reflect on a memory unless you have a trigger. This is especially true when you get nostalgic reflecting upon your name.
Maybe you had a nickname growing up… or your parents called you a shortened version of your name or by your middle name or in another context because you are a Jr. or a III name in your family. Maybe you were named after a relative or family friend and how you identify to your own name varies, depending on the setting of where you are called different things – i.e. a family reunion or at work or even by your friends and the people who know you best.
But what if I were to trigger you … right here, right now, today, in your shoes, socks or bare feet to ‘remember’ something differently as to how you relate to your own name?
Are you ready? This game is something I created called “What’s in a name?”
- · Do you remember the first time you wrote your name?
- · How old were you when you wrote it for the first time?
- · Was it with a pencil, a pen or crayon?
- · Was it in the sand or snow?
- · Do you remember writing it in cursive?
- · Did you practice it? If so, how often?
- · Do you remember the first time you typed it with your fingers? Did that feel or look weird to you?
- · Do you remember the first time you ERASED IT… with a pencil eraser, or backspaced on a keyboard to erase it?
Okay… so wasn’t that fun?
Why did I have you get nostalgic about your own name?
I wanted you to identify your own past feelings and connection to it so you could think about it in your present as you write your name TODAY.
We adults write our names a myriad of ways when we connect to life contracts of some sort – a payment, an agreement, a document, an application, a form for anything --- and we “blow it off” like breathing.
We do not take the time to value our own names and our connection to our names. Instead, we literally write ourselves off like a grocery list and treat ourselves in this same manner.
Isn’t that sad?
I wanted to write this blog and bring this to your attention because this is WHERE putting ourselves last actually starts. There is no longer any ‘honoring’ this piece of ourselves in daily life – instead we look at this as a “task” and we lose connection to this one nostalgic flashback.
When we do this, we dismiss all of the times we wrote our names and it “meant something.” From signing a letter, or applying for a job or school, or other big monumental moments that are part of life’s events.
When we sign our names, we are actually doing something that changes the course of our lives.
No matter how big or how small, or even insignificant you think that is, the action itself is actually moving you along your lifeline and life’s pathway/journey. You are creating moments every time you write your own name. Sometimes doing so takes bravery, like when you sign a petition to stand for something or when you vouch for someone you believe in – even when it is your own self doing something that is significant in your life.
So the next time you sign your name, I want you to flash back to this moment and remember reading this. Maybe you’ll take your time with writing your name… maybe you’ll smile and be proud of yourself… maybe you’ll giggle and say “Yes, this is me and I am making a moment.”
Just remember that you are you – and there is no one else like you. Like your own name, the way you write it and the way you attach yourself to doing this very one simple thing makes all the difference in how you proudly invest yourself in who you are.
You’ve come a long way… it is time you put your name to that and celebrate.
Stacey Kumagai :D