Before my daughter was born, we had her name narrowed down to either Gabriella or Nicole.
We’d shared the options with family, many of whom were willing to have their vote counted.
(We didn’t add friends to the mix, for fear of hearing something like “Nicole? Oh, let me tell you about this total be-otch I know. Her name is Nicole.”)
Anyway, young Gabriella was talked about in various scenarios pre-delivery, until she was fully baked and ready to be brought forth onto this planet.
When she did finally make her grand entrance, neither of the front-runners among the names we’d considered seemed apt.
She just didn’t look like a Gabriella.
A few weeks prior, I’d been served my espresso by a Starbucks barista like a sitcom character. Her off-beat sense of humor made me laugh – and this was pre caffeine…
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Olivia.” She replied.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now as I looked down at my newborn, it hit me…
“What do you think of Olivia?” I suggested.
“It’s perfect. I love it.” Raya answered.
And so it was.
Good choice too. She’s definitely an Olivia.
(Nicole became the middle name.)
It’s a perfect reminder that often we try to call it before we truly understand it.
Many circumstances just don’t fit the category we assign them, and only later do we realize it.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m not that smart. I don’t know everything that’s going to happen. That’s why I try to make it a habit to challenge my assumptions. I’ve learned that I might not always be right, and, [pause for dramatic effect], I’m often happier to be wrong.
So I try not to let what I don’t know run my life.
You hate your job but you don’t think you’ll be able to support yourself if you quit. How do you know you won’t find something better?
You have a passion for a different business but you think you’ll make more money in your current business, even though you’re bored with it, so you stay. But you don’t know that you won’t make ten times the dinero in some other gig.
There’s something you’d rather quit (a food, a medication, a business or personal relationship) but you don’t think you can go without.
I can go on…
The philosopher’s mantra of an unexamined life is not the only life not worth living – so’s a life with without experimentation.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
So don’t pretend to.
Put your assumptions to the test wherever possible.
Make things earn their label.
Otherwise you can end up calling it something other than it is.
And after all…what’s in a name?
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