What’s in a Name: The Reinvention Makeover


The Reinvention Makeover

by Lee Ann Brown

Job losses, phased out, replaced, downsizing, too old, not working out, etc. The times they are a changing. It seems like everyone experiences this at some point in their life, whether you’ve been let go from the workplace or replaced at home, and let’s face it — those kids grow up and you suddenly find yourself out of a job even if you’re a stay-at-home-mom. If things work out right, that is. It’s time to reinvent your self!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved the idea of stepping on someone else’s toes — I mean, into someone else’s shoes. Especially if they’re cute, and make my legs look long and lean. I find it exciting, all the endless personality possibilities that are out there just waiting for you to claim as your very own. Apparently this is very popular, as identity theft, as I’ve heard it referred to, is a huge concern all across the country and seems to be growing. So I would suggest that you create your very own new identity instead of taking one that has been or already is being used, no matter how much you like the name Brad Pitt or Sofia Vergara.

I, myself, am always trying on new names and personalities whenever I am asked to give my name at Starbucks, and I must warn you, that it can be fraught with mistaken identity and all manner of mishaps. Reinvention is not to be entered into on a whim or taken lightly. It takes a lot of planning and thought. Trust me on this. It is not easy to remember who you are. Especially if you’re trying out several different names at the same time. Actually, I advise that you try one name at a time, lest you start to feel like a split personality.

Of course, a new identity is about so much more than just a new name at the coffee shop. You must use it everywhere you are asked to give your name. You must stick with it to make it really stick. (Or you could write it on one of those sticky name cards and wear it on your shirt) But I do think it is a good idea to try on different names, to see how it fits, to see how comfortable you feel when someone calls out, “Hey, Sybil!” and they mean you. Do you immediately respond, or do you start looking around for Sybil? It’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes practice to become someone new.

Sometimes by circumstances, such as losing a job, or witnessing a mob hit, we are forced into creating a new identity for ourselves, and sometimes we get to a point in life where we are just ready to make a change in our lives. Either way, really, the fact is that nothing remains the same. Everything is constantly changing, and that will never change. I think it best that we be proactive about facing this fact. We must embrace this idea if we don’t want to become irrelevant. We must be willing to learn new things, be open to new ideas and thoughts, stay up on new trends and what’s going to be happening a few years from now. And I don’t just mean with the Kardashians or the 2013 spring fashion collection. That does remind me, however, that your style should reflect your new name, and if that means a shopping trip is in order, then I say “lucky you!” I will just remind you to “remember who you think you are,” when you go shopping or two days later you will not recognize anybody in your closet.

The best thing would be for us to begin the reinventing of ourselves before it is forced upon us. Decide who you want to be and what you really want to do, and then do it. Only then will you become the real you. Maybe you have always known who you are, and you have never wavered from that, and there are people like that. In fact, I know some people who have gone to great lengths and had many procedures to keep from changing. It’s inevitable though, change. And the signs are there for us to see, all along (and not just on our faces). We can be so fearful of the unknown that we shield our eyes from the signs, turn our heads and keep looking in the same direction we have always looked until it’s too late, and then we are in a true identity crisis. But if you dare to give it just a little try, I will say it’s awfully fun to step into a new pair of shoes and try on someone new for size. As for me, the name I like best of all is the one I gave my daughter, and I’ve been thinking that I would like to take it back to have for my own, after all she’s not 18 yet. In the mean time, if you are in Starbucks and hear them repeatedly calling out for “Sunny,” just come find me.

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