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Bo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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One of the most important things that has happened tome occurred long before I was aware of it. As the story goes, I was three daysold and Mom was singing "The Name Game" song to me:"Christine-Bo-Bean-Banana-Fanna-Fo-Feen." By day four, I was given anew name - Chris-tine-Bo-Bean, or just Bo-Bee to my mother. Now, I am Bo to herand close friends.

Why is this nickname so important to me? When I was 12years old, I read a book called "Wizards Hall," with a passage aboutTrue Names which explains that when a person's true name is spoken, she has adistinct aura around her. Although I have been Bo to my mother all my life, Irecently discovered that my true name is not on my birth certificate; it's thename that is as unique and memorable as I am.

Aunts, uncles, grandparentsand people from school and work know me as Christine. They still see me as aquiet, chubby-cheeked, bookish child. They don't know who I am now. My mostrecent hopes, fears, goals, dreams and opinions escape their notice; it is easierto think of me as I was. In their minds, they have a box labeled"Christine" in which I fit neatly, and as Christine, I was content withthe perfect packaging.

Those who call me Bo, Bo-Bee or the elegant BeauBoix really know me. They remember who I was and realize I have changed. Bo is atight squeeze in the old "Christine" boxes. The Bo I am isever-changing, ever-growing and ever-learning.

When I was Christine, I wasquiet, scared and easily intimidated. I feared groups, meeting new people andsharing my opinions. I was more comfortable with a book than my best friend. AsChristine, I thought everyone was better than I was.

As Bo, I still lovemy books, but now I want to discuss them. As Bo, my dream is to live in a citywhere I can experience new things and meet new people every day. I dream aboutbeing alone on a stage lit by a single spotlight; I have that confidence now. Iam equal to those I once saw as better than me.

A name shouldn't make sucha difference, but sometimes, when a person finds his or her True Name, theydevelop a new shine visible to friends, family and especiallythemselves.

I can't always be Bo. Sometimes exposing myself is still scaryand I feel too vulnerable; I want to hide in those old boxes. Mostly, however, Iam ready for change ... I am ready for the world. So, just call me Bo.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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