- 23 Feb 2015
Kathryn. Katherine. Catherine. So many spellings, but only one is mine. Strangers will guess, and make a mistake. Then I must endure the pain of a wasted moment, spent on correcting their unintended error, something I never have to do with any close friends. They all know that the sequence of letters: K-A-T-H-R-Y-N are all my own. A collection of reluctantly owned sounds and syllables that fit me as well as an elephant would fit into one of my shoes.
My name means so many different things. To my parents it means ‘trouble’, while to many of my peers it means ‘quiet’ and ‘sincere’. To my friends it is ‘almost insane’. But if you ask the dictionary, Kathryn simply means ‘pure’. Pure what, I wonder. Artist? Bookworm? Child at heart? All of the above?
If I remember correctly, I believe that Grandma once told me that she named me after her grandma, or maybe her great-grandma. It doesn’t make me like my name any more. Kathryn Margaret, a hand-me-down name, when I’d much prefer a fresh new one.
There is no nickname that I’d rather go by. Katie, already a friend’s name, as well as a family pet’s. Kitty, too cute, and just not for me. Kat, hmmm, not really my style. So I’m restricted to the seven-letter name that I started life with.
If I had access to a time-machine, the first thing that I would do would be go back into the past and convince my grandma not to choose that name that she did. I don’t know what exactly I’d want her to change it to, but I’d figure it out on the way back to 1998. Oh, to have a different, more fitting name…perhaps I’ll change it one day.
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