First I was Elizabeth Marie.
I am Elizabeth by my father’s choice – and Marie for my mother’s best friend.
As a child I was E.
Briefly I was Beth.
Then, in junior high and high school, I was Liz.
Then, in college, I was Elizabeth.
And now I am Elizabeth and E – the ‘Liz’ has been nearly eliminated and ‘Beth’ not even a distant memory.

So strange the ways names change – and the way they change us. E was my name as a child when my brother couldn’t pronounce Elizabeth – and it stuck. I am E to my closest friends – to those as intimate as family. To the rest of the world (and one special other) I am Elizabeth. I always thought that if I moved away to start an entirely new life I would go by my middle name – Marie. Not sure why that didn’t happen. I think I really like the idea of a private name – a secret name – and then the name known by all. Maybe it’s the intimacy and possession that sharing such a name suggests. All I know is that this name carries weight – that when I am Elizabeth instead of E it means something – it sets me apart – it pulls at the secret, hidden parts of me.


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