When I was little, before I went to school, I don't remember disliking my name. Well, unless my parents would yell my first and middle names together...that was never a good sign. "Rachel May!" and my response was usually something like, "I didn't do it!" But 9 times out of 10 I actually did it. Bad kids raise your hands...you've done it. We all have, at least once. I didn't really give much thought to my name. It was mine.
Upon entering elementary school, I was introduced to a bunch more Rachel's and not all of us shared the same spelling. There was another Rachel, same spelling as me and in my same class (it got confusing sometimes, but it was usually cleared up with using a last initial). There was a Rachael and a Rachelle (and she pronounced it Rachel). As we progressed in school and some students left and more arrived, and our classes got larger, we ended up with 3 Rachel's in the class. That's probably about the same time that I really started to dislike my name. I began wishing I had a shared name with a more popular girl in school, or an exotic name that wasn't shared at all. Seeing - Your Name:______________ - used to make me annoyed because I didn't like my name. I wasn't the cool Rachel. That Rachel was another Rachel in my class. I was just Rachel - a nobody that always tried to be happy-go-lucky,
By the time I graduated, I liked my name alright. It was common, but it's mine. I think part of my dislike of overly popular/common anything stems from this issue. LOL. It took me forever to read Twilight because of its popularity, and I won't list anymore of what I didn't read or watch, because that list is pretty long and intense.
Now, I love my name. I have a few decades under my belt and I know there's no other me. Part of me is my name. My last name is my husband's and kids' name. And I love them with my whole heart. I'm not just my name, I'm me. I'm quirky, dry, sarcastic as hell, creative, and caring (there's more but the rest is pretty boring).
That being said, I have had some odd luck regarding my common name. First, middle, and last are pretty stinkin' common. The first time I remember a mistaken identity happening was I think about 4 years ago. My husband is from a small town in the mountains about 4ish hours away. Loads of people know him and know me or my name as his wife. One night there was a Rachel Walter that ran into some bad luck, or her bad choices caught up to her. Anyway, whatever the reason, things happened and suddenly my husband was getting calls asking about my condition. That was pretty shocking. I made a joke about it and said I should change my name. Every time the mistaken identity happens, I do this. It's incredibly annoying to repeat the phrase, "I'm not THAT Rachel Walter." It's one thing for the average person to contact someone that shares the name of who you're trying to contact, and I don't mind it all the time. As frustrating as it is, sometimes good things come from those times. But other times, it's not so great. Like when the mistaken identity comes from professionals. It makes me incredibly sad to lose faith in businesses, either that I know and respect or haven't heard of, to be contacted about a different person. It makes me question their ability to perform whatever if they're contacting ME about something I didn't write. I respond to them with "I'm sorry, you have the wrong Rachel Walter." And most times I never hear anything from them. In the last week I've had a baker's dozen emails for other Rachel's (various spellings of first and last name) from businesses. Even a few within the writing community. It makes me sad because of the lack of research involved when trying to contact someone. Part of me wants to believe that it's pretty difficult to find the right person you're looking for. I know that even in this day in age, some people aren't online.
Boys and girls, one day you'll love your name. I still love mine. And if you share my luck at all, one day you'll have some funny stories to share regarding your odd luck.
Your Name Here: Rachel Walter! :)
I don't mind it now. I'm Rachel!!
Oh, and I'm the Rachel that wrote this post. Just so there's no confusion.