Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's in a name?

Yesterday I rode the bus home from the gym and saw a sign that said, "Collison Auto Repair." Hey, I said to myself, I wonder if that person is related to Linda Collison. Today, noticing the sign again, I saw an extra "i" in the sign, changing it to "Collision Auto Repair." Oh. Hmm. I wonder how I missed that last time I looked at it.

Names. What are they, exactly? Take my name. I'll bet you might have wondered who "DJan" is, and how did she get that name? Well, my "real" name is Dorothy Jan, first name is one I've never used, and "Jan" what my family called me when I grew up. Turns out that my paternal grandmother, whose name was "Dorothy," snuck into the hospital records and wrote her name in front of the first and last names that my mother had given me. Mama didn't see a need for a middle name. When she found out what my grandmother had done, she was livid, and refused ever to call me by "that" name. (On my birth certificate, lest you think she exaggerated, it shows my first name written in at an angle.)

As I grew older and grew tired of always explaining that, yes, my first name is Dorothy but I don't use it, decided to try to add the first initial to my name, making it DJan. For a while I put a period in there between them, but after a while decided I like the look of it without. I tell people that I answer to "Jan" or "DJan" but not "Dorothy" or (gack!) "Dottie." Who knew that Dorothy would become either Dotty or Dolly?

I want to change the name of my blog. When I started it, it was only in order to post comments on other people's existing blogs. But now it's become a BIG DEAL to change it, because after all, everybody looks at the other blogs to see who is really cool and who's already gotten the name you wanted. I follow "The Retirement Chronicles" now, written by an ex-nurse who retired last year two months after I did, and she does a great job. (She's also got over a hundred followers, already! But she's worth it. I'm one.)

Some of the names that I've come up with are "Sea Change" (I like that, having moved to the west coast after retirement); "Amethyst Rembrance" after an Emily Dickinson poem I love; "DJan's Diversions" (leaving the first part of the name the same so people will know it's me); and a couple others that don't bear mentioning here.

Just one aside: my birds are giving me grief. One just flew into the window, bonking himself silly, as I sit here writing; others have become Crow Bait (that crow sure liked the taste of bird he got here last week); sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out for the seamy side of life and death. I know things are not all rainbows and flowers, and I really really want to be part of the solution to pain and suffering, not add more of it to the world. So I keep feeding the birds, making sure they are getting what they need from me and not mothering them too much, grieving over the predators but also thanking them for keeping my other birds healthy.

Life is really not so easy, is it?


  1. I always thought you have the coolest name! Now I know some of the history behind it. (I like "DJan's Diversions" but the other names have meaning too. One thing, we've got to change and keep growing, even with our blogs.

    By the way, the Collison/Collision thing has given me grief -- esp. with the auto insurance people...

  2. How about The Sky Diving Chronicles?.

    I agree with you about the names. I realised the significance of mine only after I'd chose it.

    I look forward to your posts.

    Blessings, Star

  3. I don't use my first name, at least in this country, because it is unpronounceable in English and sounds terrible, so I use a nickname. I like Djan's Diversions from the choices you gave.


I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.