Now Playing: "A Mighty Wind" soundtrack
"What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet..." ~WS
I've been thinking a lot lately about names. Well, actually for the past 7 months. And no, I'm not pregnant!!!! I've been thinking about my name.
Everyone here knows me as Liz Wood. But my entire life I have been Elizabeth. In fact, when I was younger and my brother called me Liz all the time, I hated it so much that I trained him to call me Elizabeth. And various friends throughout the years called me Liz..but they didn't do it on a permanent basis and it never really stuck. I always introduced myself as Elizabeth and thought of myself as Elizabeth. That's who I am.
Then something happened in college. I started experimenting with "Liz". At certain events or in certain places I tried it out. I think this was becasue my very, very close friends Michael and Phyllis Sommer called me Liz. And part of me really liked it. Maybe it's because no one else called me Liz, so it was like their special name for me. Heck, their son calls me "Auntie Liz" beause it's easier for a 3 year old to say that than "Aunt Elizabeth".
Then this year, I started living with my roommate Leah who knew me through Michael and Phyllis and knew me as Liz. When we got here to Israel, she kept calling me Liz, and I thought...okay, I'll try it. I still occasionally introduce myself as Elizabeth, but mostly I introduce myself now as Liz Wood.
I struggled with this at the beginning of the year, thinking, well I need to make a decision NOW, because these are my future collegues who will know me the rest of my life and call me either Liz or Elizabeth. Although I was a bit uncomfortable with it as a permanent answer, I went to Liz.
EVERYONE here knows me as Liz. I mean, when my brother came to visit and he called me Elizabeth (because I trained him so well, he can't bring himself to call me anything but that) people snickered and laughed and teased us. And the more I've been thinking about it, the more I love that my name is Elizabeth, and not Liz.
Here's what really broke the camel's back: We got e-mails from the college asking us to verify information that they were sending on to donors and stuff, and they wrote my name as LIZ WOOD. Then, I realized that they always use Liz. The institution, without me even telling them, began assuming that I am Liz, and not Elizabeth...even though I write Elizabeth on absolutely everything official and unofficial that I give to HUC. That's when I realized that this Liz thing has gotten a little out of hand.
So what's my conclusion???
Liz is okay for my friends and close loved ones to call me. Even faculty here and rabbis that I know and people in the community. Liz is okay. But it's not my name. I'm Elizabeth. And i will always continue to introduce myself as Elizabeth. And although my classmates and future collegues may always refer to me as "Liz"...that's okay. I see it as a term of enderment, and closeness. But it's not the real me. I'm really Elizabeth, and I think it's a beautiful name, and so what if it's not as easy as Liz or if it seems too formal. It's my name, and I don't want to give it up.
So call me what you want (within reason) and expect that it won't always be black or white whether I go by Liz or Elizabeth. (Don't ever ask me to pick one over the other.) But know that either one is acceptable, and I have come to love and appreciate both for what they stand for.