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What’s in a Name?

February 13, 2011

This blog had a bit of a rebirth last night. When I first carved out a space for myself here I gave no thought to what it would be called. This is unusual for me, because normally I think about these things. But I was ready to write so carried on regardless.

With those first thoughts on the page, an identity formed. An identity that needed a name.

But what to call it?

I thought about it for a bit. Kept a mental list of words and criteria and  definitely-nots. Then one night I tweeted about this conundrum. I had intended to send this tweet out to the Twittersphere and then go to bed while waiting to see where it led me, but then someone responded. It was Kris from Pretty All True. For those who don’t know her let me just say that when Kris offers to help think of a name, you don’t turn off your computer and go to sleep.

In an attempt to make a long story short, the process basically went like this:

Kris had been listening to the Magnolia soundtrack and suggested some song names from that that seemed to fit.

I liked her suggestions.

In looking at the list, another song title jumped out at me: “Goodbye, Stranger” by Supertramp.

It stuck in my head even after I played around with some other names.

A week or so went by and, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I started thinking about a name again.

I went back to the messages from Kris.

I went back to “Goodbye, Stranger.”

I suggested it to my husband.

He pointed out that the song is about a one-night stand (or recovering from drug addiction, depending on who you believe).

I paused.

True to form, he came back with another – better – suggestion.

And thus, “Farewell, Stranger” was born.

The name suits me for a number of reasons. In telling this story, I’m saying goodbye to a version of myself that I didn’t know and didn’t understand. I think that’s what jumped out at me with the Supertramp song. But whether I care about the one-night stand connection or not (and I’m not sure I really do) “fare well” works better, because this is about getting better – my wish for myself and my attempt to finally make it happen.

It’s also about taking off my mask and – slowly – letting people see past the person I’ve pretended to be.

And, without trying to be too corny, it’s about opening myself up to the community of people I’ve found here and seeing their experiences instead of only seeing my own.

So farewell, stranger and welcome to whatever comes next.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2011 9:36 am

    Hey there,
    Have just found your blog through the blog hop and am hooked!
    Looking forward to getting to know you better!


  2. February 14, 2011 8:24 pm

    I love it… the story of how you came up with it and the name itself. Very fitting!

  3. February 14, 2011 9:45 am

    I love the new name and I especially love why you chose it.

  4. Sandi permalink
    February 13, 2011 10:20 pm

    The tricky part will be to “let it happen” as it may. Don’t try to guide or lead it. You have an incredible talent and I’m so positive that this blog will turn in to a larger, postive and wonderous thing that even you couldn’t imagine.

    Have fun exploring what that will be but in the mean time allow you the time to heal and be who you need to be for the moment. The future is looking bright, just don’t rush it.

  5. February 13, 2011 10:06 pm

    Best title story ever.

    And your title? Perfection.

    Love it.

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