Happy New Year everyone! It's gonna be a good one.
My mom often says to me..."You are not your job. You are not what you get done. You are not the book." And in the past two weeks, "you are not your name."
Yes, MD is simply my initials - Mair Dundon. My freshman year at Santa Clara University saw me in a dorm room with another Mary. Since I was a premed student with the right initials it became my nickname very quickly. Much easier to yell and get my attention at a Catholic school ;-).
MD became my "official" name while I was at studying and then teaching at CCAC when a librarian changed my first name field in my official record. Voila. MD Dundon was then on all my transcripts. From then on it was also my working name for film, photography, painting, computers and teaching.
It was fun. It was certainly easy to remember. I dropped the periods immediately. I loved the clean look. Scripts that I had previously sent through as Mary now were considered when they came from MD. People didn't know if I was male or female until they talked on the phone with me. It was an excellent sense-of-humor tool reminding me to not take myself so seriously.
Eventually though, there came a split in my worlds as I began to return to accupressure, improv and life coaching interests. MD didn't work on that side of my life. So for that side a made up spelling of the shorthand name my family has always used came about - Mair.
Still, there was something very comforting about knowing where you are and what you're doing in your life by what people call you.
But there was a shadow side to using MD. Often people in authority would be uncomfortable. This was not a bad thing for me, but I'm not convinced it was completely kind either. For awhile, I called it my intelligence test, as you would see how "typical" the commentary was about "those" initials. "Did your parents really want you to be a doctor?" was always rated much lower in my book than "is that like the toilet paper?"
Definitely an edge there.
We call the act of saying "No" or pushing away a "block" in improv. And, I've been realizing in the past couple of years that using MD had become a bit of a sheild for me. It's a way of distancing and protecting myself from people who I'd rather not give access to my soft underside.
Well, there's one easy way to step into authenticity and alignment when you notice that you're blocking - change something. Say "yes" to something. Remind that lizard brain that we do not need to protect and fear the world.
So, I'm saying yes to trying on a name that I keep across all my "lives." Yes, I still love MD. Yes, you can still call me that. Yes, you can call me Mair. Yes, sometimes I still like to sign my emails with md. Yes, this is all fairly goofy. And yes, this is excellent practice at being just a little more vulnerable and present.
And you can take this as my announcement that as of December 31st, I've flipped the switch to start transferring the past 16 years of MD Dundon's IP across to Mair. I'll have to report back on how that's going. It's a fascinating process in search engines and across all my social media and past endeavors.
So, thanks for participating in my little adventure in learning how I am not my name. If you can't remember what to call me you can always wave and give me a hug. Works for me!
As prep for the fun in Boulder at Interaction 11 I'm planning on settling in to get a few posts up over the next few days. As in every (communication/creativity/blogging) winter, it's always fun to get a peek at the approaching spring and the end of the fallow season.