My name is Gabrielle.
My nickname is Gabby.
And for my entire life, people have vacillated between both. One minute, it’s “Hey Gabby!” The next, “Gabrielle, BLAHBLAHBLAH.” Generally people use my full name when they’re being funny or are upset and my nickname in everyday life. But, this whole name/nickname thing is starting to get really confusing to me. I feel like I have two identities.
Now, maybe this is a side effect of growing older or doing real things with my life, but in work settings, at conferences, or even when introducing myself, I always go with Gabrielle. Matter of fact, I often introduce myself as Gabrielle so when did people get so comfortable calling me Gabby?!
You see, there is always that awkward moment after I introduce myself. People will call me Gabrielle for a while but eventually it’s, “Do you mind if I call you Gabby?” or “Oh your name is so long.” I’ve never minded before but I think I’m starting to.
I can admit, I’ve played a role in this confusion. I don’t demand people call me Gabrielle and most of my family and all my close friends call me Gabby. So I can’t blame innocent bystanders for doing it too if I never corrected them. (OR CAN I? evil laugh) But, there is a part of me that wishes my nickname was like a private inside joke that only a few people knew about.
“Gabby” doesn’t sound professional to me. “Gabby” reminds me of my childhood. In someways, “Gabby” doesn’t feel like who I am anymore- unless I’m running around being silly or screaming at the top of my lungs or being sarcastic, which let’s be real happens ALWAYS.
“Gabby” is more personable. “Gabrielle” can sound a bit cold, or so I’ve been told.
This is probably just a side-effect of me thinking I’m G-R-O-W-N. Is it possible to outgrow a name? What’s in one anyway? My kindergarten teacher, Karen Donelan, refused to call me Gabby. I was in kindergarten so I incessantly asked her why of course. And she would always tell me, “Gabrielle is such a beautiful name, why would I call you Gabby?”
There is a quote by Zora Neale Hurston that says, “I love myself when I am laughing.. and then again when I am looking mean and impressive.”
So.. maybe I can be both? Maybe I am both? Do I sound crazy? I’m probably making this more deep than it has to be.
Gabby is who I’ve always been. But, Gabrielle feels like who I am becoming. I think I’ve decided that I can’t have one without the other. Just because I fancy myself grown and a lit mamiiiii doesn’t mean I should forget my childhood/younger self and that all comes with her.
…i love myself when I am laughing, and then again when I am looking mean and Impressive…
Gabbielle, here I come.
(I think going by that from here on out is really the only solution to this problem! HA.)