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A Fitting Name

January 11, 2019

A beautiful reflection, Jake!

Jake Owensby

Somewhere along the line my name changed. I dimly recall my elementary school classmates calling me “Jacob.” It’s the name on my birth certificate and on all my official documents. When my mom was pregnant she had put it at the top of her boy-name list after thumbing through the Bible.

Around middle school somebody called me “Jake.” Then everybody started calling me “Jake.” I liked the name right away. But I felt a little awkward about it. As if it weren’t my real name.

Eventually, I started introducing myself as “Jake” and even putting “Jake Owensby” at the top of exams and homework assignments. The name had come to fit, somehow.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that our names point to our inner essence or reveal some deep truth about ourselves. It’s never occurred to me to say to someone, “You don’t look like a Melvin,” or “like…

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