Now that it’s been 8 days since my last post and officially the longest stretch I’ve gone without posting since beginning this blog, it’s time to jump back in the fray.
I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on reconnecting with my past and working on seeing that I’ve been abandoning things I enjoy just because they were connected with the “girl side” of my life. I don’t want to do that- it feels like focusing more on gender binary than just being myself, and I know that I’ve spoken about this a lot on this blog, but it’s easy to write about these principles and harder to realize you’re being a hypocrite in real life.
I’d actually been developing a phobia of feminine things, flinching away from anything girly like it was on fire, and it was getting out of hand. So, as a way of re-establishing a balance in my life, I actually went on ahead and had a “girl’s night” with my best friend. We watched a Queen Latifah movie, ate Ben and Jerry’s and generally did the sort of girly things that most guys would get shot for doing if the general public found out. She wanted to straighten my hair, but by that point I’d had enough and we wound up watching Full Metal Alchemist the rest of the night.
It was actually kinda fun.
On to the main subject, I’m having the worst time picking out a name.
I know that a lot of you know me by Jack, and that’s fine in InternetLand. It’ll probably be my screen name for a long time just because it’s already established with the email and media accounts used the most, and it’s convenient that way. But here’s the thing.
Ever since this whole integration thing started, we’ve realized that using either my legal first name OR Jack’s name, i.e., my “brother’s” name, would be weird. I consider him my brother, anyway. Can you picture how weird it would be, if you suddenly shared an identity with one of your siblings, to use their name and not yours, or vice versa? Either way it’s going to be weird. Plus, there’s a sort of stigma attached with his name among people in my life.
With my close friends and acquaintences who became familiar with my DID situation, whether they admit it consciously or not, I know that the name Jack is associated with a condition, at best, or nothing more than a symptom, at worst. We want to leave the DID behind and bring no more focus to that than the female part of my life associated with my legal name. This is a fresh start for all of us, and using the name Jack would only be shoving the DID in people’s faces every day. There’s no room for focusing on that in my life anymore.
All that said, we did at first want to find some amalgamation of Jack and my name, but it came out sounding so hilariously inappropriate that we abandoned that road and fished in other ponds of inspiration altogether.
The first name I almost settled on- Calvin- sounded close enough to my legal name that it would probably be comfortable for my friends to slip into, and it had the added plus of being associated with “Calvin and Hobbes” (which is symbolic enough that I don’t feel the need to outline it for you.) But I sat on the idea for a couple days and wound up rejecting it. A couple of the negatives included that the literal translation of Calvin is “bald”, and it just doesn’t sound all that manly, anyway. It makes me think of some slight, pale, neurotic office worker with no social life.
Searching through all of the names that sound even remotely similar to my legal name, I turned up nothing that fit, not even closely. So I started another route with my sister last night and went through lists of my favorite movies, coming up with first names that I liked based on my movie character idols. Three hours later, I wound up with a list of about ten names that almost work but I’m not sure about. Here they are in order of how much I like them.
– Jareth (don’t laugh. this was one of the first I crossed off.)
The only problem I can find with Vincent is, it’s such an awesome name I really don’t think I can do it justice. Is it possible to not pick a name because it’s TOO cool? Very much so. I’d like it, but I’m not so sure it’ll stick.
Also Damien is hardcore, but I feel like people would be hardpressed to come up with a nickname that isn’t “Dame”, which I kinda feel defeats the purpose. It’s like how Anakin’s name got shortened to Ani when he was a kid. ‘Nuff said.
Problems with other names like Alan, Oliver and Adrian (pretty much any name starting with a vowel) is that they seem to carry too weak of a demeanor. They’re nice names, but I want my name to have a little bit of a kick.
I liked Thomas because it all seems to suit me nicely (Tom, Tommy, etc.) and I like the tomcat connotations- an extremely virilized, male creature in what’s generally considered a female-typed animal body- but the thing that’s weird about this is that one of my first cats was named Tommy, and it just weirds me out to name myself after a cat. So this one’s probably out of the running, despite being win on all other accounts.
I like Xander just because it sounds cool, but it’s a little pretentious for me. Not much to say about that one.
I like Logan because it’s Wolverine’s name. I don’t like Logan because, for some reason, the sound of it reminds me strongly of sour milk and it kinda makes me want to hurl.
Almost the same thing with Richard. I like it simply because of Richard B. Riddick, which in my opinion is the most badass thing since Chuck Norris and the only completely good thing Vin Diesel ever did with his career. I don’t like it because of what people might wind up calling me- Rich, Dick, a lot of other asshole names. The only nickname I even sort of like out of Richard is Ricky, and… meh.
Jareth I obviously don’t really want to go with because it’s the name of the King of the Goblins in one of the most beloved young-girl coming of age adventure stories of all time. Just the idea of being associated with Jim Henson makes my skin crawl a little, however, being associated with David Bowie kind of makes up for it. I mainly put it on the list to remind me of all the J names I could go with, like Jared and Jarron and all those other 90’s brodude names. Really, what am I thinking on this one, anyway?
We also wound up with a list of rejects I definitely won’t be going with, posted here for your amusement.
– Archduke Ferdinand (Ferdie for short)
– Steve Jobs
– Boromir, son of Theoden
– Harvey Birdman, Attourney at Law
– Lord Ilpalazzo
– god (with a little “g”, out of reverence)
– Edward (after the Elric variety, NOT Cullen)
– Janosz (pronounced “Ya-nosh”)
– Theodore Logan, Esquire
– Zaphod Beeblebrox
– And last but not least, the symbol for “Pi”.
This is what I get for chatting with my sister at 2 in the morning.
I hardly feel closer to the end of my name search than the beginning. All I really know for certain now is that I need a new one, and I also know a few names that don’t work. That’s it.
How do you come up with what people will call you for the rest of your life? It’s awkward right now- I’m in an area where I don’t want anyone calling me by anything that anyone knows me as, so I’m kind of in this weird “He who shall not be named” phase. I feel rushed to figure it out so the people who know I’m having anxiety about my female labels won’t be uncomfortable trying to figure out what to call me, but I’m having the worst of it just trying to nail one down. Is it really that hard? It’s just a little set of letters, it’s just a word.
Funny that so much anxiety can be caused by one little word.