My Name

On the birth certificate, it is Jennifer Rose Cowin. By my family and friends, it is Jen or Jennie. It means human jumping bean. It means risk-taker. It means firework. This name belongs to me, and it will for the rest of my life.

I grew up in a stable, yet hectic home of six. Butting heads with my siblings and turning my house into a tornado was just a couple of my childhood traits. When I was young, my name was red-haired, bug-eyed little kitten. I was playful and cute, but inside I was aggressive, like a fireball.

At the ages of twelve and thirteen, my life had turned for the worst. My name went from “cuddly little kitten” to “all hope is lost” in the matter of a year. My name became “the girl who had anger problems” and “the girl who acted like the living dead.” Inside me, I knew my name was Jennie, but I didn’t know who I was as a person. It was like living in a fog, not being able to see two-feet in front of you.

Finding who you are can be very difficult at times. It’s like being lost in a forest, and there being three or more different paths you have to choose between to find home again. I have been stereotyped in so many different ways, and that can really affect a person. For the longest time, I didn’t know which stereotype to choose from for myself. I thought I was supposed to be someone everyone told me to be. I thought I didn’t get to choose what my life was all about. It felt like the name Jennie was supposed to be a specific type of person, and it didn’t feel right.

After some drama blew away, I decided to look at my life and appreciate it. I realized that constantly trying to figure out who “Jennie” really was was a waste of time. I’m whoever I want to be. I am in control of me. Why should I doubt myself? Life has pain. Life also has mystery and a truckload of confusion. But does that get in the way of how I want to live my life? Of course it doesn’t! A name is a name. It may be how people know or see you, but it will never be able to define who you are. I am not saying that I have fully grasped who I really am, because that is something that can take a lifetime to achieve. I do know, though, that the way people see me is not the way I should see myself.

In my perspective, the letter “I” means something completely different than your name. For example, my name is Jennifer Rose Cowin. I am weird. I am a proud little ginger ninja. I have teenage issues just like everyone else and I often feel like a bomb just waiting to explode. I know somewhat of who I am, and that makes me strong. Life is going to give you crap. People are going to try to tell you who you are, or who you should be, My solution: don’t listen to them. After all, a name is just a name.

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