What’s In a Name?

What’s in a name? A name as boring as mine? Not much. Beth Wade is a simple, common name. My real name is Elizabeth. That name’s worse, much worse. It’s so elegant and noble sounding. I’ve been called Queen Elizabeth before, and that’s just weird. My family is a religious family, so it does make sense that they named me Elizabeth. Elizabeth means “my God is my oath” which is what they want for my life. My middle name, Rebecca, was chosen because every one of my siblings and I have middle names that begin with “R.” Rebecca’s meaning is “a snare.” God is my oath and I am a snare. Perfect. One decent meaning and the other a not so good one. At least I wasn’t Portia Rebecca which would make me a pig snare. Beth, on the other hand, has no meaning. When looking up its meaning it directs you to Elizabeth or Bethany, and Bethany has something to do with figs.

My parents really got the snare part right, or maybe it was backwards. Snare does fit into my life, but I’m not sure if I am the snare or if I am the one who is constantly ensnared. A little of both. The God is my oath part is mostly true. Yes, I believe in God but I doubt I am up to the standards my parents and church body want me to be. I love my church and the people there, but I find excuses to get out of it sometimes. Some days I just can’t stand sitting on a hard wooden pew for two hours. It really hurts my butt.

“Beth Wade” is not a mouthful like “Elizabeth Rebecca.” It is so easy to remember, yet so many forget. It’s not unusual enough or unique enough to warrant another glance; always doomed to be overlooked. That is my lot in life. The girl who tries so hard to be unique but never gets noticed. I’m the black sheep in my family. The blatantly rebellious one. While my sisters’ hid their rebellious crimes I flaunted it in everyone’s faces. I was hardly ever out of trouble, and when I was everyone kept their eyes on me to see what stupid thing I would do next. In high school, I finally found somewhere I could be myself and be accepted. The rebellious nature shrunk to the background. I was noticed and seen by my theater friends. “Beth” became a name they used only on special occasion. I was so many more names within the theater. My name no longer defined me, but I defined my name.

If you asked me what I want my name to be I would tell you I have no clue. I do believe a name should be given by those close to you because only they know you best. Despite everything, I have become very attached to my simple and forgettable name “Beth Wade.” I realize that it’s not the name that bugged me, but how I used the name. It was not important to me, the one who bore it, so why should it be important to everyone else? The name is only the outside. My name may sound boring and simple, but it is not my only name. “Beth” defines me just as much as “oh boy,” “Queen Elizabeth,” “Beph,” “Beffers,”or “Lizzybecca” do. All of the other names make up me, Beth, showing the world that I am not my name. My name is me.

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