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One in a Rillion

I’ve posted before (What’s in a Name?) about how much I disliked my name when I was growing up. Rill.

Pretty uncommon and hard to spell (not as hard as people make it out to be, though.) It rhymes with pill, so elementary school was not always fun. Fast forward to deciding to change my name after divorce- I’d forgotten a lot of those things. Kind of like having a baby- you eventually forget the pain until you're driving to the hospital for #2…

After choosing as an adult to self-identify as Rill again, it all came back to me, especially when IT happened again for the first time in almost three decades: getting called Jill.

Why do people do that? Hey- Barbara Reed, how about I start calling you “Breed”? Hey Sherry Smith, how about I start calling you “Schmith”? No. Because that’s stupid. So is calling me Jill. Stop it everyone, just stop it.*

Okay, so now that that rant is over, I will continue. After the initial shock of re-becoming Rill, I began to get used to it all over again. As I did, I started to actually love it. I’ve had all kinds of fun making silly words out of my name, being a Rillionaire and riding Rillercoasters. But the best part was that my name was so unique.

Or so I thought.

I received a text today from someone who had gotten some emails for some purchases that I’ve made recently, and wanted to let me know there was some kind of a mix up. She got them because our emails are very similar, due to the fact that we… have the SAME NAME.

Now, if your name is Mary Adams, or Bill Thompson, you’re probably used to this. I’m decidedly not. And, I’m an only child… I don’t like to share. Who is this person walking around using MY name? Although, I have to say, she was very, very nice, and she ALSO hates being called Jill.

After getting the text, I was kind of shocked for about an hour. I have to say I felt just a smidge less special. But, I started to look at it another way: how many John Smiths are there? Most of them are probably nothing alike.

Our names are only one way to celebrate our uniqueness. We are so much more than that- or our jobs, or our marital status, or anything outside ourselves.

Clinging to outside labels helps us sort ourselves into some kind of group where we are comfortable and can live from the edges of our being. I spent many years on autopilot, thinking that there was more I was called to do, but avoiding digging deeper and doing any kind of honest self-assessment about what that could be. I preferred to stay safely on those edges.

You usually have to dig to find a treasure, and sometimes it is uncomfortable. But it is always worth it. We are made for passion, for adventure, to love ourselves no matter what our treasure is- even the rough, rusty parts that bring us some pain. Our mission is to find that treasure and polish it and let it shine whether or not anybody is looking.

Our uniqueness is inside, not in the boxes where we safely put ourselves. Get in there and go deep- you’re one in a zillion-million.

*Jill really isn’t THAT bad. No hard feelings.

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