Tuesday, March 17, 2020

What's in Your Name?

So in continuing with our legacy posts, I thought I would introduce a new question and topic. Today, the question is "Who gave you your name and why? Did you have a family nickname? How did you get it?

My full name is Kathleen Ann Smith. I was named after my wonderful Aunt Kathy Greshock, who I admire greatly. She is such a great inspiration and contains most of my favorite and not so favorite memories growing up. She lives in Philly and they just sold their family home, that had so many great memories so they can make things easy for them to maintain since all their kids are grown and have moved out. It only made sense but it was bittersweet to know I can't go back and stay there again.

So when I went to high school, Kathy was a pretty common name. So common, that I hated it. It was your atypical cheerleader name. I wasn't a cheerleader. I was the good girl who went to school every day, got great grades, and NEVER got into trouble. That would come in my Junior year. That, is a story for another post.

I wanted to change my name but never did. I know my mom would NEVER go for that. People used to ask me if Kathy was short for Katherine, which I loathed. Sorry to all the Katherine's out there. I just didn't care for that version of trying to figure out what my full name was. No one ever considered Kathleen. I did like the sound of that better over Katherine, maybe because it sounded younger. Yet kids from school never used the proper full length version even if you asked them to do so and even if I introduced them to Kathleen, they would simply say, "Oh Kathy, right?"

Deep down inside, I wanted to scream, "NO!" but agreed with a simply nod of the head. Even my high school boyfriends never used my full name or shorten it to any degree. I thought I would be doomed with Kathy for my entire life. 

I got so tired of people calling me, Kathy, so at work, I changed it to Kathleen. It sounded like a professional name should and thankfully, no one agreed to call me Kathy. I would firmly correct them if they tried to. So for quite a few years in the corporate world I went by Kathleen. It was a no nonsense sounding name. That would later change quickly when I managed a group of mostly guys when I took over the service department at LA Cellular in Rowland Heights.

Guys don't do long, proper names. They will shorten that to any form they could, so I changed it before they did. This is where I get my nickname Kat now. I changed it. I first heard it in the movie, "Casper" as the main character is called Kat, and really loved how that sounded. Now to convince those who knew me well to begin using it. It took some convincing and re-correcting people who kept trying to divert it back to Kathy, that I preferred Kat over Kathy.

It is always interesting however to understand name origins and for me, Kathleen simply means Pure. I guess when I think about the evolution of my name, and where I am today in my faith filled life, I am definitely proud in some degrees and often wonder how people are named? Were they named after someone amazing? So I can't wait to hear your story. I hope you'll share it with me. 

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