When I first read about Rarasaur’s proposed holiday idea, I was not sure what to make of it. I think she’s right that we should hold our identities with pride. The trouble is, I’m not proud of a lot of the labels that have been heaped upon me without my consent. Or at least, there are certain aspects of them that people will assume that are either wrong in my case or that I’m not proud of. X does not always imply Y, but sometimes it’s hard to find people for whom X=/=Y. I am a minority in a minority. (And sometimes I feel so passionately about not-Y that I can’t even deal with other X. Having a little family/personal breakdown here. Please excuse me.)
So I thought of a label that I have chosen, and I have a confession to make.
My name is not Emma Wolf. I hate my real name. I hate that my real name (first and last) are so common that I’m ungooglable. I don’t want to be unique, but I want to be identifiable. I chose this name because I plan on using it as a pen name (and I don’t hate it) if I ever get my thing published. If you google it, you’ll find me (eventually). But if you google my real name, you’ll find a tennis player, a tap dancer, and a Miss America contestant. I’m not any of those things. I get emails from random people thinking I’m someone they met once. The other day, I was talking to an interpreter with my same real name before we had to meet with a client, and we were bemoaning the fact that everyone and their grandmother had our name. And then I got a call from my client, telling me she was lost. She said she told the security guard she was going to see _______, and the guard told her to go to the fourth floor. We were not on the fourth floor. We were on the twelfth. She was in the wrong building. But she found ______, because there is one in every building. This is what happens when everyone follows naming trends! It’s confusing! So I’m not hiding under Emma Wolf, I’m trying to stand out.
Also, here comes the emo, my sister named me. While my sister and I get along now, this was not always the case. So I don’t know if I didn’t get a long with my sister because I didn’t like my name or if I didn’t like my name because I didn’t get along with my sister.
Basically my whole life I wanted to change my name. So this is the name I have chosen and the label I am wearing today. Happy International Label Day. A parting thought on this joyous holiday: