What’s in a name?

I like to joke that I got the most normal name out of my siblings. My parents chose first and middle names from the Bible for all of us, so we ended up with Naomi (I don’t remember her middle name), Ruth Elizabeth, Esther Abigail, and me – Rachel Michal (pronounced “mih-shawl”, not Michelle or Michael).

So okay, maybe my middle name is a bit out there, but I’ve generally been happy with my first name. As a fairly introverted and anxious kid, it was a nice icebreaker to have a bunch of people with my same name, and having to ask “which Rachel?” was often an easy way to weasel into a conversation.

It probably also helps that there’s no fancy spelling here; whenever someone asks, I generally say something akin to “just simple Rachel, no extra a’s or e’s or y’s” which usually at least earns me a smile and a little bit of social currency.

What? I’m awkward – I take these things where I can get them.

I did have a brief stint where I wanted to change my name to Nicole – I have no idea why – but I’ve eventually come to like my name. It feels comfortable, like laying in my own bed after being gone.


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