Identity Crisis

I don’t think I can ever fully describe how tumultuous the past few weeks have been.  From replacing my phone to personal battles to final exams, I have been under more pressure than ever before.  The only thing that comes close is the final push to finish my undergraduate thesis, but in that instance I was able to shut out the rest of the world and just focus.  I have been having highs and lows and zigs and zags all over the place.  I have been turning to friends more than ever before, but I have also been turning inward to reflect and get my head back on straight.

There are so many things on my mind and so many choices I need to make that I can’t help but put it all aside and focus on something way less critical but equally confusing.  Now the problem I’m about to run into is that I carefully guard my name and location on this public blog.  I’m pretty confident that 99% of my readers know me IRL, but I don’t want to take any chances.  I’ve probably let enough details slip that a real sleuth could figure out exactly who and where I am, but I’d rather not make it easy for them.  And what I want to talk about regards some specific details about me…

What I want to talk about is my NAME, specifically what I like to be called.  So I’m going to have to generalize.  I think it will be easy enough to follow, but it might be a little awkward to read.  Here goes…

I was born in the South, and so as a young child I was called by my FIRST and MIDDLE names together.  However, my family were all technically Yankees (born and raised in MA), so that didn’t really stick.  By the age of ten, people just called me FIRST.  That lasted throughout the rest of my K-12 years.  However, as I prepared to head off to college, I had a desire to transition my identity.  I thought it would be great to go by my two initials, FM.  So as I met all of my new college friends, I told them my name was FM.  If you’re going to ‘change’ your name, I think college is probably the easiest time to do it.

Now, I am almost two years out of college and I have partially reverted back to FIRST.  My mom always called me FIRST, and my friends that knew her were introduced to me as FIRST.  I have also started introducing myself as FIRST in my community college classes, because FM just started to seem like an immature name.

But here’s the real problem.  I intend to become a nurse, and in that line of work, everyone from doctors to patients will be calling me by my first name.  Well, my first name is one syllable, and I don’t like the way ‘Nurse FIRST’ sounds.  So I was thinking about going by ‘Nurse MIDDLE.’

Not all of you, even if you know me well, know what my middle name is.  My mom always hoped I would eventually drop FIRST name and go by MIDDLE as an adult.  I think her dream name for me in a professional setting was ‘F. MIDDLE LAST,’ which has a pretty nice ring to it.  The problem here is that however much I like the sound of ‘Nurse MIDDLE,” I feel like it would be crazy to fragment my name identity one step further.

I don’t really like my first name.  I prefer to be called FM, but many people consider it too modern and/or unprofessional.  And ‘Nurse FM’ just sounds awkward.  I don’t really identify with my middle name, but I feel like I could warm up to it.  It’s kind of a radical thought for me.  But is it GOOD radical or bad?

Can anyone offer me any advice?  Do any of you go by different names around different people?

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One response to “Identity Crisis”

  1. Samantha says :

    I go by different names to everyone. For myself, I always say Samantha, and insist that my name be written Samantha, but like when people called me Sam. You could be the Queen of England, but if you were to call me Sammy/ie/i I would immediately tell you that was inappropriate. Professionally, I always like to use my FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME LASTNAME, but as my middle name is a family name (actually, the same as your mother’s) people tend to think its my middle name and then I get a lot of Mrs. MIDDLE-LAST, instead of Ms. LAST, which is awkward.

    Although, I want to say that I am so formal in a professional setting, I would be ok if more people called me Ms. Last rather than by my first name, but I think that Nurse FM would be professional. Professional isn’t your name, but your demeanor, and a little personality in nursing can’t hurt.

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