Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Real Name

My "Real Name"... well, that depends of your definition of reality, doesn't it?

I have always believed in Santa Claus, the Velveteen Rabbit, and Snoopy. Honestly. Santa may be fiction, but there have been poems, songs, movies, books, dolls, and decorations by the millions made of him, and we know, in our gut, what Santa would and wouldn't do in any situation, as much as we know what our own parents would do. Just because he's fiction doesn't mean he isn't real.

I spent this weekend talking and thinking about why I chose the name Galiana Chance for myself. Why I named myself that, nine years ago. I blogged about it here, about what it meant when I chose it, and what it has come to mean to me now.

Then earlier today, musing about what I love hearing, I realized that my favorite thing to hear on the phone is my name. Last night, a caller was fucking the hell out of me, and he kept saying, "Galiana...?" and I kept pausing, enjoying the feeling of tension, my heart skipping a beat, before I replied "Yes?" We replayed it, over and over, like a choral call and response, and I loved it to my core. It felt like we were celebrating everything I had chosen to be. It was affirming, and powerful, and beautiful.

I should have known what was coming, shouldn't I?

Today, someone asked me "my real name." Of course he did. Instead of just giving him a name, which would have been the smart thing to do, instead I tried to explain that Galiana is the name that suits me best, the one I chose for myself, the name that feels the most like me, the name that seems the most true. He interrupted to ask if I'd gotten off - as if that's all I want from him - and ended the call.

I have a list I could have given him, names which all mean something to me: Leah, Jenna, Megan, Rachel, Angela, Gretha, Jane, Cecilia, Patti, Reagan, Eve, Elizabeth, Leena, Katherine, Lynn, Mary, and if I were to be really honest: Bucky. My legal birth name is in that list, but it doesn't mean more to me than the others. Certainly not more than Galiana. It means something different, but not more.

I didn't choose the name I was given at birth. My sister chose it, but if I had been a boy, she wanted to name me "Sunflower Boat", so it's been difficult to put too much stock in that name, y'know?

Each of those names are a part of me. A flavor. A slice. A piece. But Galiana... Galiana is who I choose to be, as whole and real and true as I can be, right here, right now, as present to every moment as I've ever been in my life. You want my real name? My true name? My honest name? The name that means the most to me?

Galiana. My name is Galiana.

1 comment:

  1. Well, whew! We just had a lovely conversation to clear the air. All better now. I do love me a good, tasty resolution.