I’m still thinking about names…
When I was in Junior high I was known as Shawna, because one teacher in elementary couldn’t get it that my name was SHAWN and that ended up on my records. By the end of high school, I had finally gotten Shawna off all my records.
At our high school reunion this summer, a class mate said, “Your name tag says ‘Shawn.'”
“Yes.” I agreed.
“This yearbook says Shawn,” he said glancing back to the copy Ralph had brought along.
“Yes.” I was on the yearbook committee. I made sure my name was spelled correctly. I also did the calligraphy on our diplomas, so it’s correct there, as well.
“But we always called you Shawna,” he said, looking down on me with confusion.
“Did we have it WRONG all those years?” His eyes were wrinkled in dismay.
I laughed and said, “Yes.”
He gave me the most sincere look of mortification and said, “I’m so sorry!”
I laughed and told him it was quite all right. The kids I hung around with all knew my name. I wasn’t to concerned about the rest of them, to be honest.
Then I went to Finland, and there they call me either “Soon” (rhymes with ‘phone’) or gave me the Finnish name “Sanna.” When I introduce myself in Finnish, that’s who I am. In French I’m “Jeanne.” In Italian I’m “Gianna.” My doctor calls me “Shawnee.” I am all those people, and all those identities. Each one is essentially the same, but a little bit different. A different language for communication, a slightly different attitude.
So far, I don’t use a pseudonym with my writing, though I imagine eventually I will.
What is your experience? Have you been known by different names? Are you exactly the same, depending upon your name?