What's in a name?

Ever since I was a kid, I've had a love/hate relationship with the name my parents gave me. Growing up hanging out with my older brother and nearly constantly being outside, I was a bit of a tom-boy. I preferred bike riding and running in fields and playing imaginary games with my neighbor than playing dolls or dress up. Games with Indians and wolves and amazonian jungles. This has been a huge factor in my definition. So when it came to my name: Grace Elizabeth- I always thought it sounded a little sissy. I tried to appreciate the meaning behind it, but the title always sounded a little like someone who belongs in a royal court, not fighting crime in the mean streets, or exploring long lost Egyptian tombs.

When I got older, this feeling only grew. My teen years were not unlike the middle ages- dark and smelly. Haha, okay maybe not smelly but I did wear a lot of dark clothing and always tried to project this tough confidence. I was so awkward around people I didn't know, and so afraid of getting hurt that I always felt like I had to defend myself. It was my thing. In our group of friends there was the pretty one, the smart one, the funny one and I tried my hardest to be the tough one. Not to mention at this time I was a motorcycle/ dirtbike aficionado (and have the scars to prove it :P). And my fancy shmancy name never really fit that image. No matter what I did, "Grace" still conjured images of ballerinas and glittery
floating angels to people, and I hated it. 

It wasn't until I got married and truly feel safe that I've begun let go of this outlook. I've always chose cool over pretty. Which of course is not a bad thing in and of itself, but once me and Calvin got together I've finally been able to relax about what other people think of me. I realized I had been projecting that image out of fear and anger over being hurt in the past. Fake bravery is only leather jacket clad skin deep. I still love tattoos and rad hair (even though mine has become long and boring now heh) but now I finally feel comfortable wearing cutsey vintage dresses and working with a more saturated color scheme. No longer do I have to constantly be on edge, ready to defend myself. I'm part of a team now. And with that, I've also realized that you can have both. You can fight zombies by day and wear ball gowns by night- you can be both tough and feminine. Armed with this knowledge, I hope to carve out a whole new definition for 'brutal'. It doesn't have to be a bunch of hurt kids hurting, but a bunch of people, aware of the beauty in their design and the flaws of their heart and out to make a difference all the same.

In letting go of that self consciousness, I've also really come to appreciate my name.
What a gift I've been given, to be named after something so beautiful. 
What an amazing reminder everyday of why I am alive. I hope and aim to be a reminder to others as well- it isn't always easy though (especially when you get cut off in traffic, flipped off by the driver, and spat on like I did this morning D:) but it is always worth it. Kindness and graciousness may work in mysterious, quiet ways, but like the butterfly effect dictates, it may have huge life changing results to someone else.

So I urge you today, like I urge myself daily- be kind today, live up to your name.
Whether you be a friendly Emily, a loving Amanda, a lively Chloe-
or in the case your name means bald man, or he who smells like butt, 
you can borrow my meaning if you'd like :P

All the best,
Grace Elizabeth.

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