I have always been self conscious of my name. Number one the spelling, no one ever spells it correctly, and number two it was very uncommon. It felt like a blazing sign, saying “LOOK OVER HERE!! She’s different!!”
When you are a child/teen, different is scary. Heck, it’s scary as an adult! Different can feel isolating and confusing. Going to the mall with my best friend I would ask if she would call me by another name (Lauren, or Julie or Samantha… anything but Cheyenne). On top of my name, was my frizzy hair, braces, freckles and gangly body (look at this girl over here!! DIFFERENT!), and until probably 8th grade I was taller then every boy in class (oh poor sweet elementary Cheyenne!!).
That feeling of insecurity lingered, and even tinged with fear as I introduced myself. I wince knowing the sign is coming, the thing that will make me stick out. This past week I attended a conference where I was forced to say my name often, and was given the best advice ever when I grumbled to a friend. She said “OWN your name!” The thing that makes you different isn’t a bad thing, it’s your signature.
My name is Cheyenne. My dad picked it out because he thought it was beautiful. My nieces and nephews call me Chey-Chey (it is the sweetest sound to my ears!). My friends call me Chey, and my mom writes it in the most beautiful cursive. My name makes me different, because I am. It fits my heart for adventure and the outdoors, it makes me think of sunshine and warmth, and I pray that it does the same for others when they think of me.
PS elementary Cheyenne, you lose the braces, figure out how to flat iron hair, and your husband is taller than you 🙂