I was named after my father as a child but grew up being known as Junior.
Although, my name first name was unique, I didn't particularly care for it because it was so different and I quickly grew weary of people telling me that. I also got annoyed with those that told bad jokes at my expense.
"That's an odd name. "
"Oddly enough, I've never heard that name before. "
These are part of the reasons why I didn't really go around advertising it when I was growing up.
Most people didn't even know it existed. Friends who I grew up with had no idea.
To this day my mother, siblings and close friends from back in the day still call me what they've always known me as.
When I got to the tail end of high school I thought that maybe it was time that I made a change. I had built up a bit of a reputation as being a character and I found it difficult to shake it and be taken seriously.
I was on the verge of becoming an adult and I figured that it was important that I be looked at and treated differently. I decided to turn to the name I spent my whole life avoiding in the summer of 1993.
I thought about how different things would be when I officially changed my name. I would be instantly transformed into a new person and seen differently by others. I was rather excited because I thought that this was my chance to start over. I felt like I was playing the real life version of the virtual 3D game, Second Life. I remember the day I officially made the change.
I felt the same. I looked the same and no matter how many times I corrected them, people still called me Junior. It was as anti-climatic as the reunion of the Spice Girls.
I went through the experience and came to the realization that I was focused on the wrong things. This helped me take away three important life lessons.
1. We have no control over how others choose to treat us.
2. We are who we are and that will never change no matter how many transformations take place.
3. What people think about us is none of our business.
These lessons helped me understand some important things about who I was and allowed my personal relationships to flourish by raising my self esteem. My self confidence had increased and I was able to carry this forward to impact my relationships with my friends, family and everyone that called me Junior.
Audley Stephenson AKA The “Relationship" Manager" is an engaging public speaker who encourages individuals to make their mark through positive relationship management strategies. He's an excellent communicator with a long history of developing relationships with organizations and people.
Make Your Mark (MYM) strives to enhance the lives of others through practical relationship management strategies and advice designed to make a positive difference and cultivate our professional and personal interactions.