The Name Game


I’m Kali the Kangaroo.


That’s not the name game I’m talking about (which is really too bad since I used to be really good at that game at camp). I’ve been thinking about names lately. How names reflect who we are, and can say something about who we want to be. Kali is not the name on my birth certificate and has only been my name since I was 15. It’s been about 5 years since I changed it and while I would never go back to my legal name (which I’m not going to state since I despise it) I’m finding Kali somewhat lacking in describing me as I want to be known.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Kali, but it just isn’t sitting right with me nowadays. That doesn’t seem like a big deal,  but considering it took me three years to convince my mom to call me by it because she thought the name change was just a phase it’s not something I can just change on a whim. Not unless I want to be accused of it being a phase again anyway.

When I changed my name the first time I didn’t really think it through to be honest. The reasons behind it were thought out (I hated and had always hated my legal name), but the new name wasn’t thought out at all. In fact I asked my friends for suggestions and then let them vote on my three favorites (Kali, Mackenzie, and Ariana). Kali was my favorite of those three so I eventually just made an executive decision, but I realize now I shouldn’t have been so hasty. I made the decision to change it one day and 24 hours later I was going by Kali. I put more thought than that into naming my characters.

I’ve had issues with it in the past of course – do I really want to share a name with a goddess of destruction (even if I am a Slytherin)? Kali also doesn’t sound that professional, and considering my ideal goal is to be a lawyer my name should probably be a bit more professional. Also, I just don’t feel like Kali suits me – did it when I was in high school? Maybe, but I’m not sure. All I’m really sure about is that I like it a whole lot more than my legal name.

My name is not legally changed, but I do want to change it one day. Do I really want to change it to something I’m not entirely happy with? No, not really. At the same time though I’m not sure what else I would go by – and changing it again would probably vindicate my mother. I guess I could start small – figure out a new name first, maybe use it in some of my classes next year, and I probably shouldn’t force everyone around me to use it this time. I don’t mind Kali after all – so if my  family and current friends continued using it, it wouldn’t be a huge deal.

Or I could just stick with Kali. It may not be perfect, but I’ve put years into that name and I don’t want to be seen as wishy-washy. No matter what I decide, it’s still Kali right now. What’s in a name? As someone who has changed her name once I say that a lot is wrapped up in a name. It’s true that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, just as I am the same person whether my name is Kali or something entirely different.

– Kali

Also, I’m going to the Hunger Games on Saturday!


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