The obvious question is What’s in a name? And the obvious answer, as far as I’m concerned, is not much. Helen is useful as identification, but as for identity – forget it.
This might be because as a child, I was rarely called by it. I answered to a raft of nicknames, and being the youngest of three girls (and the one who made the least impact), I also answered to my sisters’ names to save embarrassing those who pulled the wrong one out of the hat. I don’t dislike it. It just doesn’t feel like me. But since I’ve never been able to think of a name that does, maybe the problem is one of those nuggets of pure psychiatric gold that would keep shrinks in world cruises in perpetuity.
Or maybe I just don’t exist. Ah well…
Apparently Helen means torch – or moon – or bright light. Now there’s a joke!
When it came to naming our own kids, we chose names that wouldn’t get them beaten up in the playground, but would also maintain dignity in adulthood. The youngest caused a ripple, because the older three were determined she should be Chop. I’m pretty sure all four are grateful now that we overrode them.