I thought for a moment about whether I should post this, but then, well, I asked to be taken off of whatever mailing list this was sent to and I am neither a friend nor a colleague. As my dad says, fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads. So, here we go:
"Dear friends and colleagues,
In celebration of, and to mark the passing from, one way of being into another in my life I have a request. I prefer to be called Kimberly or Kimberly Laura from this point forward. For those that have asked, why the change? I offer the following explanation:
Let me first be clear that this is not because I am in trouble with the law, it is not because I am entering a witness protection program and still, (as far as I know;-) I am not and have yet to be an undercover agent for the FBI.
My full name is Kimberly Laura Michal Malone. All of my parents' seven children have three given names besides our last and we were all called by our second. Honestly, I was relieved by this fact throughout my childhood. Growing up I couldn't stand the name Kimberly or heaven forbid Kimmy! It was just too girly sounding for me. I had two brothers in my immediate line of sight to keep up with for crying out loud and Laura is pretty enough. Well, a while back a friend of many years saw my driver's license and was quite taken aback to find out my name was actually Kimberly. He didn't think it fit me very well, he just couldn't see it. Still, neither could I and now that I was all grown up I couldn't see why I would have to keep it. I started to look into legally dropping it from the record...
Then something funny happened. As I heard it repeated by bank tellers and government agencies over the ensuing months, it hit me. The difference in other people's response to me, depending on their knowledge of my name, was palpable. Its like they were naturally more relaxed when Kimberly was around. Their eyes slightly more open and their mouths were definitely smiling more often. Especially those I was meeting for the first time. In my observation people who called me Kimberly felt much "safer" in my presence, much more at ease than those who were meeting Laura. On top of this, the more I referred to myself as Kimberly within, the more my own ease, acceptance and grace were able to surface.
I've always believed the sound of words and names to be significant. Whether we change to meet them or they mold to meet us is of no consequence in this effect. So, whether I am becoming Kimberly or Kimberly is becoming me I'm gonna go ahead and take it. In the end, as I find my way down my path in this life, I much prefer the world I live in when myself and others feel secure and at ease. I want to do my part to contribute to this at all times, no matter how small the contribution. I am finding that my purpose here is to know exactly what it means to be at home within myself, to always be "safe" in the world and to share that feeling with others at every opportunity. Kimberly fits that life much more for me now than Laura does on its own.