Prompt: Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
I’ve always thought my name should be Kate. Not sure exactly why. Not Katherine, not Kathy. Kate. I never liked Tamela, but it’s my name.
When I was a kid my family called me Tammy, a name I tired of before I finished high school. I moved over to Tamela, my given name, when I went to college. When I went to b-school people started calling me Tam and I like it best.
I been told my grandmother made “Tamela” up, advising my parents, who named me after the Tammy movies and theme song, to give me a “grown up name.” Over my lifetime I’ve run across it a few times and when it made the book (below) I figured my grandmother had been ahead of her time.
I never introduce myself as Tam, but there’s a certain threshold a friendship crosses when the other person slips into Tam without thinking about it. If someone slips into it prematurely I notice.
May be there’s something about a one-syllable name that I like. Kate. Tam. Kate and Tam have a certain no-nonsense, no frills appeal to me. They sound like they belong to competent people. My favorite Kate is, of course, Katherine Hepburn.
Sometime in the last year I came across a book that theorizes how something about the sounds and syllables and letter combinations of your name influence your life. I think it was The Secret Universe of Names: The Dynamic Interplay of Names and Destiny. Fun in a horoscope-ish way.
It’s funny to me the way people mispronounce Tamela. It ranges from Ta MEL a to Ta ME la to Thelma to Pamela.
If I were to name myself something aspirational that came from the natural world, it would be “Leaf on a Stream.” When you’re in the stream, you’re transported to your destination. No fighting, no effort. Go with the flow. Trust the stream.