Anonymous asked: Would you take a guest post for your blog?
Possibly. I am having a hard time getting the time to actually update, as is probably obvious. But maybe when I get started writing again, I would consider it!
Sierra is the name my parents chose to call me when I was born. Actually, before I was even conceived. The story (and I’m not sure I have the facts 100% straight on this, because it’s been a long time since I was told) is this: My dad was a teenager or maybe in his early twenties (doesn’t really matter… it was before I existed) and he met a little girl. I think I remember him saying he had to help her do something (like get a kite out of a tree?) but that could just be some embellishment my imagination made up in the past that now seems real. Anyway. He thought she was really cute and he asked her name. She said, “Sierra,” and he knew he wanted a daughter with that name.
Part of the charm of this story is picturing my handsome daddy as a sweet and helpful young guy. Part of it is remembering sitting on my dad’s lap and feeling so safe and loved as he told me all about how I became Sierra. The other part that really charms me is that he chose my name before he ever met my mom. All of these combine to make it one of my favorite family stories.
I was born in California. This is what my mom told everyone when I was young, as if to explain my name. Growing up in Ohio in the early 90’s where Sierra was a very “weird” name always made me feel different and strange. I wanted my name to be Sarah (with the h, for good measure) because that’s what all my peers mispronounced Sierra as. To me, Sierra was a colorful, pretty, and showy girl and I was bland, chubby, and quiet. As I got a older, Sierra seemed hollow and trendy, with seemingly every little girl I met having my name.
I ended up falling into my name without noticing it. A few years ago, I suddenly realized I liked it. It suddenly fit me. I grew into my own skin. I became much more colorful. I am Sierra.
Sierra is a Spanish place name and means “saw”. It peaked in 1999 at #41 and was #215 in 2010. I prefer to remember that its sister name, Ciara, is Irish, because that reflects my own heritage a little better (though I know that may be a stretch.) SiSi is really the only possible nickname, though I always promptly corrected anyone who wanted to call me that.
Sierra calls to mind snow-tipped mountains and expansive open spaces filled with natural beauty. The sound of Sierra is light and pretty; charming to the ears and tongue.
Sierra is a purple, orange, and pink sunset. She is dancing in a field of wheat. She is a cool, but sunny April day with cerulean skies and fluffy clouds.
Sierra is natural, beautiful, thoughtful, light, connected, and creative.
Thank you, Dad and Mom for choosing Sierra for me!
Charlie has been my favorite name for boys for a very long time. To me, he was always the hero in the stories I made up in high school. He was always the good guy whom everyone loved to be around. He was quiet, but jovial, artistic, yet down to earth.
Charlie’s popularity rank in 2010 was #244, which is not terrible. It is a known name, retroactively popular, though slowly gaining in the past decade. I’m crossing my fingers that he doesn’t get too popular, of course.
Charlie means “free man” and is a diminutive of Charles, of course. But I’ve been quoted saying “Charlie. Not Charles and NEVER Chuck,” when asked what would go on the birth certificate if I have a boy.
I’m not sure when I decided that Charlie was the name of my future son. It feels like something I’ve just always known: that someday I would be the mommy of Charlie. I recently discovered it will honor my grandmother, Carol, whose name is the feminization of Charles.This GREATLY adds to Charlie’s appeal.
Charlie is kind, free, creative, manly, sensitive, friendly, eloquent, strong & handsome.
Charlie is a smile, a comfortable pair of shoes, an old fashioned sepia toned photo.
While my own Charlie is a long way off, his name never ceases to make me smile.
As a writer I am always trying to find the right word, the right phrase, the right thought that describes what my head is picturing and what my heart is feeling. I’m looking for something to call those ideas inside of me. Sometimes I use many, many words. Other times I only need a few. But very rarely can only one word describe anything.
Except when that word is a name.
If I said the name of your mother or your best friend or your niece, your mind is brought right to the subject at hand. No other words are necessary for you to understand the concept of the woman who gave birth to you and nurtured you when you were small, or that soul who understands all your frustrations and your happiness, or that tiny person who stole your heart the moment she was born. All of these things are conjured with one word: their name.
Now, I’m not sure if I think our names define us or whether we define our names, but I do think name meanings are just a small part of what our names will encompass when we are ninety years old. But what I want to do with this blog is just write about what different names mean to me. Some names might just be ones that I like stylistically. Some might be the names of people I love. Some might just be the names of my future kids. But they are all distinctive to me.
A name is a word or term by which a person or thing is distinctively known.