First, let me admit that this photo has nothing to do with this post. You do actually get to see Baby Jane in action, her poor little bloomer-clad grey body. In my defense, we're entering the Middle School years and because of that I don't actually have any photos due to awkward pauses in my ability to dress myself in a way that made sense (let's not even talk about the hair - combs were so Elementary School, and thankfully, High School).
So, my name, specifically the unofficial changing thereof. Do you remember that time in your life when you would meet one other person that shared a similar trait (or name) with you and that realization made you feel utterly unoriginal and less than special? A realization that spurred you to immediately change that trait (name) so that you could return to be the unique person you always knew yourself to be, you know, before everyone started copying you? No? Huh. Well, at some point in sixth grade I came to the realization that every Brandy I knew (really, how many could I have known? one, maybe two?) spelled her name with a "y" at the end, just like me, and I wanted to be different. I couldn't handle the thought that there might be another me out there (oh, my young mind). My solution? Change the spelling of my name, obviously, from "y" to "i" - a transition I proudly displayed on my English DOL (Daily Oral Language) paper. The result? Points take off my grade for misspelling my name and I feel relatively certain that my teacher called my mom to tell her - or maybe she made her sign my paper? Regardless, what would have probably have blown over, stuck. I felt defiant, bold, and best of all in my very small part of the world, one of a kind.
Over the years I became so used to it, and so did everyone else, that Brandi feels much more natural to me, though I feel much less impassioned than my twelve year old self. At work I go by Brandy, leading to my distinction of my work self and "life" self, though I still field many questions about the difference. People ask which spelling is correct and I find that hard to answer, though legally it's clear.
I might care less about which I use, or which others use, but I'm a little glad that the younger version of me, even if misguided, felt impassioned enough to make a change and make it stick.