Monday, April 23, 2007

What's In A Name?

Today I made a business decision to change the name of my blog Karma's Word and web site, Karma's Window, to Carma's Word and Carma's Window respectively. This prompted me to think about What's in a Name anyway? How important is it to our business and personal identity?

Does your name define you? Did you choose your name? How many of us changed our name as we grew older?

As you may notice, my name is Carma With a C. Not Carmen, Carmel or Carnival, although I have been called all of those.

What’s in a name anyway? I didn’t pick my name, did you? You remember the song by Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue? The song more or less tells the story of a boy named Sue who had to defend his name all his life. He dreamed of the day he would meet the man who named him Sue and how he would tear him apart.

Father and son met up in prison and Sue confronted him, asking Why did you name me Sue??? The father replied that he knew Sue would not have a father around to teach him to be strong so he gave him the name Sue knowing that would make him tough because he would have to defend himself all his life. The point is that even before we are born, many decisions are made for us which will influence our journey in life.

My grandmother named me Carma. Many years later my mother told me that grandma did not have anything mystical or spiritual in mind when she named me. She wanted me to be different since I was the first granddaughter. Maybe she was a little like Sue’s dad and believed the name would give me character. I would be different.

I like my name now, but while growing up it made me more introverted than if I had been named Mary Lou. I dreamed of changing my name to Mary Lou, Donna, Peggy Sue... all the names songs were written about. No one wrote a song about Carma.

Naturally, I was shy during my school years which were during the era of miles and miles of mesh, net petty coats, rolled down bobby socks, buck skin shoes and felt skirts with poodles on them and James Dean. Young girls were expected to grow up, get married and have children. I didn’t disappoint that prognosis, however, how I accomplished that was not what my mother had in mind (another story). Nevertheless, as an adult it was much easier to be Carma, I was the cool girl with the cool name. This is when I began to like myself a little better.

What's In Your Name?

Write it down,


  1. I have actually thanked my mom on numerous occasions!

    I love my name. I have always loved being different!

    I wouldn't pick any other name even if I could!

    Thanks for the cool Sue story!


    Sylvia C.

  2. Sylvia is a beautiful name. It reminds me of silk.

  3. Hey, Carma,

    Now you're the cool lady with the cool name!

    I've always been a girl named Sue! But I like that, too!

    Suzanne Lieurance
    The Working Writer's Coach

  4. Hi Sue :) thanks for the comment. You are the first person to comment on an old post.

    This was good to go back and revisit old posts.