My New Name . . .
We're talking interviews, and ceremony, mikveh, blood letting (I'm already snipped - you're welcome for the horrifying mental image) and - as a never-nude with severe body anxiety the HAPPIEST of the three things I do not have to study for . . . my new name!
Yeah. That's right. The day I convert you will FINALLY be able to call me Janet (Ms. Jackson if you are nasty . . . and I hope you are). I kid, I kid. I will take a Hebrew name. Largely ceremonial (you will still be able to call me Sean or anything else you want - except late for supper (heyyyyyyo!)) the Hebrew name is an important part of the conversion process.
I've picked my name (the closest I will come to sharing it is that I've asked a handful of people their thoughts on my three finalists). Why the mystery? Personal choice, I guess.
I can/will say this though (the point of the post begins here) . . . it was HARD to choose my own name. Much harder than it was to contribute to the naming of our daughter. Way, way harder than naming any family pet. Even harder than naming my two cars. Less enjoyable, candidly, than I thought it would be but a challenge that I really enjoyed taking on.
I looked at all the traditional Heroes of the Torah options (seriously, though, I NEED those glasses) and decided even my legendary ego would not feel good about naming myself an icon of my faith. I then looked at those secondary heroes (the kid born to a 980 year old man and his 711 year old wife, etc.). Not so much for me - I want to be my own person, I suppose (no disrespect to all those out there who carry these monikers). I ultimately decided that I would find things that were reflective of my personality and my character.
From there it was a seriously fun exercise. I'd find what I thought was the perfect name then a Google would tell me the word meant "of great curiosity" AND "stands outside the donut shop and just inhales deeply" (Hebrew is a tricky tongue). I would find a name that I loved to say (yes - pleasure on the tongue was a criteria for me) and then realize it was a feminine vs. masculine base. Oy vey.
Then - after what was probably thirty or thirty five HOURS of research and trying to figure this out I found three finalists. All of which make me super happy and all three have been thumbs-upped by my sponsoring Rabbi.
I know who I am. I know who I will be. And, soon enough, I'll have another label to use in that pursuit.