Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The girl with three names


As many of you know, my name is not actually Pepper; Pepper is the blog name I adopted when I started a few years ago, when I was so shy it took me months to tell even my family that I had started my own blog. A pseudonym seemed safer when I started to share my life this way. I have adopted it online, my old work called me Pepper, some people prefer to call me Pepper for non-confusion, and I like it very much.
My actual name is Sharon, but only since I was 2 years old. I found out recently that my mother didn’t choose this name for me, or ever really wanted to change it. It feels like 'Sharon' has never quite fit me, like a dress that is a touch too tight in the armpits and leaves you fidgeting. You get used to it, but it's never really comfortable. Over Christmas it seemed to fit me better, for a little while, while my little nieces and nephews were calling me ‘Aunty Sharon’ this and ‘Aunty Sharon’ that, but now it's shrunk back to it's original size. My birth name was Juanita (which I discovered on my birth certificate at age 18) which is lovely. Still, it's not.quite.right.

So somehow I have three names. One was my name, but now isn’t. One is my name but wasn’t. And one has never really been my name, but feels like it is.

I’m moving cities now, with an opportunity for a fresh start. I am a grown up (most of the time) and perhaps I can be called whatever I please? Shall I stick with the name that doesn’t quite fit, change to the pseudonym that does, or change to the one my mother gave me?

Or chuck it all in and call myself Princess Magnificent of the Ancient Order of Marshmallows?


  1. Princess Magnificent is perfect ;) Good luck with the move!

  2. I really did LOL when I started reading your post ... I have so many names I can't keep up ...

    My christened name is Sarah, but my family call me Min -

    My middle name is Athene - which I use when doing academic research

    My friends from years ago call me Doris (long story)and in fact my ex-husband didn't even know my name was Sarah until we married LOL

    Nowadays there's only a couple of people left who call me Min, I hardly ever write academically anymore, and Doris doesn't feel right either. For years Sarah was the 'tight under the arms dress' for me, but now I'm settling into it I think - only took 48 years!

    I think you should go with what makes you feel like you. If you're happy with Pepper (I love it) then go with that.

    I have a friend who changed her surname after she divorced. She didn't like her maiden name and she definitely didn't want to keep his, so she changed to 'Lively' ... wonderful!

    Re-invent, I say ... xx

  3. That is such an interesting story. I say go with the one that you enjoy hearing across a room as someone calls out to you. The one that makes your ears perk up when you hear the word that identifies you. The one that you like writing and saying proudly as you introduce yourself. How exciting that you have this chance before moving!

  4. This is one vote for Princess Magnificent of the Ancient Order of Marshmallows! Not that your other options aren't lovely as well. Good luck with the move and everything that goes with it :D

  5. That is so intriguing, Sharon. My husband changed his middle name before we married as he'd never liked it. He never looked back.

    I adopted his surname when we married but we have included mine as a middle name for all 3 pixies.

    I am now tempted to go to Births Deaths & Marriages and add my maiden name back in as a middle name. I miss it!

    I say, seize your opportunity, your fresh start and pick a name that really speak to you. Now is your moment to reclaim your identity for you!

    J x

  6. Change it! Baby name book, sister! :) Have you read Stargirl? It's a children's book with much wisdom.