My name came about by accident really. I’ve always hated the first name my parents gave me and so I’ve always used the shortened version. Most people would call me by that shortened version but there were some people who didn’t give a shit about what I preferred (despite me even introducing myself by the shortened version) and just called me by my full name anyway. Disrespectful eh?
It annoyed the hell out of me, so I’ve always wanted to shorten it officially – I just never got round to it. Last year, I had the chance to change my name, so did.
Isn’t it weird how a word or group of words can define us? When people say stuff like”oh, he looks like a George”…does he really?? What is a George supposed to look like?! Yet when giving names, people will give a one based on what a child or pet (or whatever) looks like. Our names become us. Or do we become our names?! I think that’s a topic for another time. For now, I’m concentrating on my own name, and what that means to me. Given how it came about, it does have a lot attached to it. A name that came about for a reason, not because I looked like an Eva.
Last July, my friends’ band, Eva Plays Dead, had about £3000 worth of equipment stolen from their van and I wanted to replace it all for them, so I set up a crowdfunding page to raise money. The page had a great response but as with any funding campaign, it gradually loses momentum as people carry on with their lives. Towards the end, it just needed one final push in order to reach target, so as a bit of fun and to motivate people, I said I’d change my name to include part of the band’s name if we did hit target. I was totally serious as I thought I could shorten my first name whilst I was doing it. Then we hit target, thanks to a huge last minute donation from Dr Martens footwear. So there you go. That’s how I ended up having Eva as my middle name.
Whilst I was completing the deed poll application for the solicitor, I decided to also throw in Echo as a middle name too – especially as Eva Echo sounded like a cool superhero name. Haha. Despite the fun, it also meaning too: it was taken from the name of a band that my band supported on the night I met my other half. And that’s how Eva Echo was born. At the time, it was more about helping my friends to replace all their stolen equipment. I never really stopped to think of the consequences it would have on me. I never stopped to think that by changing my name, I was taking a small step towards acknowledging the real me. I may change it again in the future, I’m not 100% sure yet. One of the problems with names is that they’re given to you by parents. It seems weird to pick one for myself. I honestly wouldn’t know where to start.
As it stands, Eva Echo is legally my middle name. I can use Eva in place of my first name for most everyday things but not on legal documents. To do that, I would need to legally change it again. Good job I know a good solicitor. Whether I stick with Eva or change it again all depends on my journey, I guess. A lot has happened recently and a lot more is likely to happen even before I get an appointment at the GIC. The changes have been overwhelming at times but it’s been exciting too. I don’t feel lost anymore. Not like I used to. I finally feel some kind of internal calm as I now realise my identity. Thanks to the continued support I’ve had, I’m now ready to take more steps forward.
My name is Eva. It’s nice to meet you.
Featured image: by me