The Joy of a Name

I’ve never loved my name. Briana. Or, as my northern Minnesotan family tends to call me, Brana. I mean, it’s ok. Not as common as some. Not entirely unique.

Somewhere around college, Briana/Brana shifted to, quite simply, Bri. It was weird at first. And then for years, it was again just pretty ok. It’s just a name, right? I look like a Bri, it’s fairly easy to remember, and I’m the only one I know of in my immediate circle sporting it.

It’s only lately that I’ve started realizing the joy of a name. Specifically, the joy of my name.

At work, I’ve realized I can use it to add a little lightness to situations. My cubicle, which is delightfully and awkwardly cave-like has become known as the Bricave. My nature of jumping into many different things with overt enthusiasm and only sometimes adequate organization became known as the Brinado (crossing my fingers that’s used endearingly when I’m not around, because I’m into it).

Perhaps my favorite example of this came from a very close friend. I am the kind of person (read: introvert) who has a few really close friends–and that’s it. They put up with my nuances and we tend to be friends for a very long time, even over periods of forgotten texts, distance, or even occasional fights. Recently when I was going through a difficult time, this friend and I began spending more time together than usual.

He and I always had an odd connection that, for two people with typically very short patience with others, could for some reason spend a lot of time together very naturally–likely having to do with a mutual love of Pokémon, androgynous singers, and YouTube nostalgia, but I digress. Through the nature of my issues at the time and our mutual tolerance, hours together became a regular occurrence. And as I began taking over large portions of his days, we coined a term. Bri Day.

If you’re a super observer, I’m sure you’ve made the connection by now to the name of my blog, you sleuth you.

I love the connotation of a Bri Day. To me, it describes my propensity toward unabashed passion that I often get lost in. All of the wonderful, unpredictable, sometimes seriously boring things that happen in my days and the connections I have with others throughout them. It’s those delights, and yes the struggles too, that have shaped my last couple of years of self-discovery so to speak (I know some people just rolled their eyes…probably that aforementioned friend…that’s fine, I might have too) and that I hope to continue to learn from.

Because when you pay attention, there is so much you can learn. What people really mean when they say certain things. What body language can tell you about a friend’s emotions. What unspoken words are in a simple loving touch. What it means that I feel a certain way when others say/do/don’t say/don’t do certain things. What it means when my cat starts to lick her lips too much (those of you with cats can probably guess…it ain’t good).

Seems like the best time to introduce the love of my life, Kitten. This is what many, many Bri Days look like. And if you think this is cute, wait until I show her beans.

It’s been an interesting journey coming into being Bri in all of what that means and has the promise to mean. But as I embrace my third decade (fav so far), it feels really great to do it in a skin and with an identity I have come to love and appreciate.

These days, it really is a joy to be Bri.

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