“It’s not the events in your life that shape you, but the importance you choose to place on those events.”
I’ve put a lot of importance on my name throughout my life. My name isn’t anything overly unique or exciting. I wasn’t named after anyone. I was an 80’s baby and Allison was a popular name at the time.
My Great Uncle used to run around with a video camera at big family events calling me Big Al. My mom hated it. She told me I shouldn’t let anyone shorten my name because Allison was such a pretty name. Being the know it all child that I was, anytime someone would call me anything but Allison I would say, “You can’t call me that. My mom said so”.
Later, I began to regret that I didn’t have a nickname (serves me right), so I began writing Alyson and Alissa on all my papers. Unfortunately my teachers were smarter than that and refused to continue the trend.
I loved flipping through baby name books my parents had and writing down names I liked. Once I looked up my own name and saw the definition: “Little Truthful One.” I was kind of disappointed. I wanted it to mean something cool like moonbeams.
Despite my disappointment the definition stayed with me. I ended up in a relationship where truthfulness became the crux of most of our issues. All he wanted me to do was tell the truth about everything and I found I struggled with it.
I wondered, “What is my definition of truthfulness?” I mean, let’s be honest, I’d told my fair share of lies as a teenager. I also disliked conflict so was masterful at omissions. Did this mean I wasn’t truthful?
I even thought of Ahimsa: non-harming. If the truth would only hurt, was it really better to say? Why was it so hard for me to live up to my name?
Eventually I met a friend who immediately commented on my candor. He was a very private person and was repeatedly shocked at my openness and honesty about everything.
He was right. I have always been forthcoming about my family’s history of depression. I wrote an email to my favorite English teacher in college to tell her she was my favorite. I even told my friend when I thought she was settling for a guy.
Suddenly I loved my name. I loved it so much that when recently asked what URL I wanted to use for my new website I immediately replied, “My name of course!”
I figured if I’m going to be Allison Richard, “Little Truthful One” I’m going to be the best damn one there is.
–Allison Richard – Allison is a yoga instructor, writer and health coach specializing in helping people expand their yoga practice off the mat. She believes in living beautifully, loving magically and dreaming passionately. Check her out here or follow her on Instagram.