Monday, 25 July 2011

20s versus 30s

I seem to still be adjusting to the fact that I am now in my 30's. It's like I forget for awhile and then, BAM! something happens to remind me and I have to take a step back and think, "Is this what happens in your 30's?"

In my 20's I would:
  1. spend money on expensive drinks at the bar
  2. worry what people might think if my baby cried in public so hurry to leave
  3. stare in the mirror picking at minor imperfections like pimples or blackheads
  4. Live to Eat
  5. watch really cool Indy/Art films for fun and think "I get it"
  6. never cut or die my waist length hair

In my 30's I now:

  1. spend money on expensive wine for home
  2. think if my baby crying bothers other people, they better move on
  3. stare in the mirror stretching out crows feet, as I pick at pimples and blackheads (don't they ever leave?)
  4. Eat to Live
  5. watch really cool Indy/Art films and wonder what it was about 
  6.  can't wait to try a new hair style

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Who am I?

I love my parent's, but when they picked out my name, they decided to go with one of the most popular names of that year and my whole life I have felt like I have no identity because of it.

I've heard how your name can be a predictor for your personality, it can determine what type of success you have in your life, it's how you greet the world and how the world sees you. If it's a strong name, people respect you more, if it's a flowery name, you may be more easygoing, so what does it mean when everywhere you turn you find you're surrounded by people with the same name? Well, from my experience, it hinders you from developing a distinct identity related to your name, because everywhere you look, there's another one, and we can't all be the same.

Throughout school there were always several of us with the same name, at all my jobs there has been at least two if not three of us. Within my group of girlfriends there was one who had known them longer, so she got the shortened version of our name and I was designated the slighter longer one. You know your name is not unique, when being introduced in a new group your introduction of yourself includes the phrase "me too." In these situations your last name becomes very important and has the hopes of saving you from blending into the pack, but alas, my last name is not unique either. Where I grew up there was another one of me in the same town. I have to be careful banking, as she also banked there. I thought that once I got married, then I could have at least a last name that would be all mine, but no, I married into a family that all ready had one of me. I was told to not worry though, because perhaps the other one would get married one day and take her husbands last name then I would be the only one in the family. Oh, I can only dream. I recently joined WW and even there, with my new married name, they got me confused with the other one who all ready goes there. I can't catch a break anywhere!

People may ask which version of my name I prefer, but I honestly don't care which version they use, as I have no personal attachment to any one of them. Over time though each version of my name seems to have become more appropriate for certain situations. For example, the shortest is how I most often refer to myself, it's easier and quickest, the middle version (with a "y" or "i") is mostly used by relatives or very close friends, and the longer full version is for more formal or business like situations. In response to this development, it's almost as if I have developed three slightly different personalities to coincide with each name. You may think, that's great, so the problem isn't that you have no personality, it's that you have too many :) I only wish, lol. All that's really happened is that I'm even more unsure about where my "authentic self" is (to borrow from Oprah).      

So, if I can't develop an interesting or unique personality related to my name, then what are my options? I've considered the fact that maybe I just don't have one, or not an interesting one, or I'm just boring. But I just can't sit and be OK with that. I am determined to become someone unique, or at least to feel like I know who I really am, despite my unfortunately common name. I'm hoping that by writing here, even if it's just for me, I'll be able to figure out who I really am and that I'm not "just another Jennifer." 

If there are any other Jennifer's out there, I'd love to hear about your experiences too. Maybe by beginning with what makes us all similar, we will discover what makes us unique.  Or even those of you who have similar situations, be it a repeating family name, how do you make sure that you stand out from the pack?