Oct 31 2017 Nom De PlumeCategory: General     06:36PM   0

I’m often asked what my “real name” is, and I never tell. By this point it’s more of boundaries than privacy. But the truth is, Lylah feels much more real than my given name. One could argue, quite successfully, that it is my chosen name. Unless I’m firmly aware of which “world” I am in (ie with family or with clients), I often struggle in how to introduce myself. Various (mis)spellings of Lylah litter my coffee cups.  

The truth is, Lylah is - was - my grandmother’s name. My parents almost named Lylah, but other names won out. I forgot (as much as one can forget the name of a family member) this when I chose my working name however long ago. I even forgot of her unique spelling (a family secret lost with my great-grandmother, I am told), yet here it is, taking up prominent residence in my life.

Lylah was a wonderful woman, who had more love in her heart than she knew what to do with. She valued education, ambition, and honesty. As a child we bonded over books and reading, and in the later years she was tickled by the one of a kind cards and flowers I would send. While she wouldn’t exactly approve of my profession, she would appreciate my self sufficiency, independence, and the sincerity I bring to my relationships.

Recently I’ve toyed with the idea of changing my name, but now I can’t. I can’t abandon my history as Lylah, nor can I give up the connection to my grandmother. I simply cannot ignore my subconscious choice of a family name as my working name. “Lylah” has become more than just a nom de plume, but has grown into a part of me, perhaps even the dominant part of me. Lylah may not be my given name but it is my chosen name.

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