What’s in a Name?

In many ways I have always felt like my name defines me. I have created an image of myself that is reflected in the name that my parents delicately chose for me. As a child I hated my name. Why didn’t they name me something normal. Like Amanda. I loved that name and actually tried to convince people to give me nicknames that were shortened, bastardized versions of the name I was given. I went by Lea for a little while, but it didn’t catch on. I think I was the only one using it.

Eventually I grew into my name and its uniqueness. Somehow, it always made me feel a little different, and now I appreciate that. I have always wondered if in some way I am who I am because of my name.

Have you ever met a person and thought to yourself that they are definitely more of a Brad than a Mike? I use that example because that has actually happened, and my friends agreed. He was definitely more of a Brad.

So I pose the question: Is there something to a name?

According to Freakonomics, not exactly. Chapter 6, appropriately titled: Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?, delves into this a little deeper. This chapter analyzes how a name affects ones outcome by beginning the discussion on the life of a young girl named Temptress who appears to be living out her name quite well. Is there a self fulfilling prophecy with names?! While Freakonomics challenges that notion by stating that if you are the type of person to name your child Temptress you may also be the type of person to create an environment that leads your little girl astray.

This is what leads me to naming my baby. Maybe that’s why the name of this blog was so important to me. It is something I have created and it is so close to my heart that it can’t have just any old name.

So then why did I choose my blogs name? I guess I could have called it Lupus Girl, like my brothers so fondly call me, or some other profound name. Originally I named my blog The Girl with the Butterfly Tattoo. Well, it didn’t work out. For a variety of reasons.

This morning as I forced my boyfriend to run my new 2 mile stretch he said, “at this rate you can easily do 52 miles per month. It should be your personal challenge.”

My baby had a name.

We discussed how not only would this motivate and challenge me, but I can also use the time as I choose. I can take days off, divvy up the miles, and it gives me the opportunity to do what is right for my body. Doing right by yourself and your body is the most important thing for a person living with a chronic disease.

So here is my personal challenge.

Catharsis.

I have convinced myself that if I count down the lampposts along the boardwalk the time goes by faster.  So there I was, running the boardwalk and beginning my “lamppost countdown.”

With 5 lampposts left Passion Pit’s Carried Away blared in my headphones.  I picked up the pace.

4 a smile spread across my face.

3 the sun was blinding and beautiful.

2 I’m almost there.

1 I’m crying.

There I was- by myself, crying on the boardwalk listening to Passion Pit.  For any observer this would have been quite the odd thing to see.  A twenty-five year old female, alone and sobbing for no apparent reason.  Fortunately it was 6:30 in the morning and the only people out were me, the seagulls, and some man that I swear was secretly racing me.

This was my catharsis.

When I woke up that morning I knew I had turned a new leaf that would be a journey, and possibly a struggle.  I put my sneakers on with determination, did a stretch, and was on my way.  When did I let myself stop caring? When did I convince myself that I didn’t deserve to be an active 25 year old?  I didn’t even know when the slump started, but it did.

My story starts in 2003 when I was sixteen and diagnosed with lupus.  My new story started yesterday morning.