My Name

January 14, 2009
By Jessica Bowman, Madison, VA

My name really has no significant meaning. When I was born my mom was young and, as with all teenagers, she wanted the rarest, most original name out there. Little did she know that a lot of people who were having kids at the same time were thinking the same thing. At the time, it may have only been an original name, but over the last sixteen years, the name has developed into a lot more. It has really become more than just a name.

If you ask my friends, they'd say my name means fun. Devious, spontaneous fun like sneaking out of a movie theater at night while your parents are still there and going to the mall across the street. It's simple and careful planning that goes into not getting caught. It represents prank phone calls at 2 a.m. It's all of those late nights at the lake playing hide and go seek until dawn. My friends simply think of fun, and to have that associated with my name is okay with me.

If you ask my mom, my name means miracle. That's pretty close to the etymology, which says that it means "the Lord's Gift". It represents my mother's struggle to grow-up at the age of 17 and become a mother, but still keep her own dreams alive. It's the pain she felt when she almost lost her baby girl by a simple flaw of circumstance. In June 2010, it will represent the the bittersweet feelings of a job well done and having to let go of her daughter and best friend.

To my grandmother, it's standing outside for hours, waiting to see the next Harry Potter movie. It's homemade vegetable trays and horror movie marathons EVERY weekend. It's the name of a young woman who will always be a baby in her grandmother's eyes.

To my father, it simply reminds him of bad decisions he's made in his life. It's an opportunity missed and 16 years he'll never get back. Even more simply, it's the regret he feels when he looks at me.

To the world, it's a lot of things. It represents the first girl of her family who will go to college. It's the organization of the family. Its the feeling of sanity within all of the craziness of a large, hectic family like mine. It is the oldest of six kids and weird need of control that comes with it.

I believe my name says a lot about the determination in me. A person who's only goal in life is to be successful. Its procrastination and spontaneity. Its bursting into laughter five minutes after a joke was told. It represents what seems to be, from the outside, complete organization but from the inside, its something completely disorganized. But that is completely fine by me because it may have taken 16 years, but I am me, and that's the best thing abut my name.

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