"I Like The Way You Spell Your Name"

Artwork by the incomparable Marina
Nearly every single time someone sees the way I spell my name, they compliment it.  "That's a unique spelling," or "that's quite a beautiful name."  Well what am I supposed to say to that?  What say did I have in the matter?  My name was (I assume) decided before I had a conscious existence.  My name and I were thrust together without either of our consent.

But I love my name.  The fact that– despite the sound of it– I was not just another Madison in my fourth grade class was inspiring.  I knew I was special, not lost in the sea of Megans and Jessicas that seemed to fill my elementary school.  Though, it always confused me that my teachers still made me write my last initial on papers...because clearly there was a difference between me and everyone else.  My unique spelling was a little secret I always carried around in my back pocket.

In a sociology class in high school, we problematized the idea of identity.  If someone asks who you are, you will reply with a variety of answers that include but are not limited to:  your name, occupation, interests, hobbies, age, gender, and race.  At the time, it seemed problematic that I introduced myself AS Madysen.  As if that was the sole essence of who I am.  It was a problem because there more to who I am than just the seven letters that make up my name.

But I've really grown to love my name, and not just for the compliments its spelling recieves.  I love that it's unique and that I don't feel like another member of this not-so-secret Madison club.  When I introduce myself, I know others probably hear Madison, but I know that I mean Madysen.  And whether they realize it or not, in that introduction I'm giving them more than just a name.  I'm telling them my whole history, all of who I am.  Because being *Madysen* is special.  I've yet to meet another one.

One of my favorite lines in the television show *Girls* comes from a character named Tako.  She spells her name out for every person she meets because she claims she can hear the difference between when people think her name is spelled Taco versus Tako.  That's exactly how I feel.

When you know that my name is Madysen, you know more than just my name.  You've gotten a glimpse into my being.


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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