Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WHO AM I????

I have somewhat of a dilemma, and I'm interested in opinions.

Okay, so: my full name is Cherokee Summer *****. From the time I was born, my parents called me Summer. I didn't even know my first name was Cherokee until I was at least in kindergarten.

I've been "Summer" for 25 years--except that I also answer almost as automatically to "Cherokee" because my grandmother (who has lived with my parents since I was in 9th grade), my oldest cousin, and all of my grandmother's friends call me by my first name.

Here's the thing: if you happen to go by your middle name, then you'll understand my pain--everything you fill out wants your legal first name, which of course for me is Cherokee. All through school and college, I'd correct the professor on the first day of class and ask to be called Summer. It usually was no big deal.

Well, tomorrow is my Orientation for nursing school. All my paperwork is for Cherokee. My ID tag that I'll be wearing to the hospitals is for Cherokee, not to mention my file that the hospitals will have is for Cherokee.

So I'm thinking, should I just embrace Cherokee as my "professional" name? (Not to be confused with my stripper name, Spooky McKinney.) I wouldn't have to deal with constantly correcting people to Summer, or explaining to hospital staff why I want to be called something different than my ID tag says, not to mention patients. And what if my classmates are trying to tell the hospital staff about "Summer," but they don't know who they're talking about, because to them I'm Cherokee?

Honestly, I'd be fine with people calling me Cherokee--like I said, I do identify it as my name. I've never actually introduced myself as Cherokee. That would be odd. And I'm not used to lots of people calling me by that name, but I'm sure I'd get used to it.



Linda G. said...

I think you'll be saving yourself a whole lot of hassle if you just go with Cherokee, especially since that'll be on your name tag. Besides, I like it. :)

But I really like Summer, too, so you should keep it for your "friends" name. Best of both worlds!

Old Kitty said...

As I like the easy life, I'd plump for Cherokee but then is there a legal way you can change your name to Summer in the long term if you want? But just to make life simpler legally, I say go for Cherokee!

I do like that you have the option of which names to use for your novels! Yay! take care

Shain Brown said...

You should be proud of whatever name you choose, be it Cherokee, Spooky, or Summer.

I can partially understand your dilemma. My name is Shain (that's not the confusing part). The spelling is, and to this day I continuously correct Shane to Shain. I like the unique spelling of my name and I chose to never just let it go.

Good luck in your decision.

Lola Sharp said...

I feel you, sista. (I answer to just about anything)

It's hard for me to think of you as 'Cherokee', because I know you so well as Summer. (and Cherokee being 3 syllables long, w/ no good shortened nickname, it's a mouthful) But, I think the above comments may be good advice.


Shelley Sly said...

I went through the same thing. I was Shelley to everyone, everywhere... but my real name is Michelle, and nobody called me that. But when I started working full-time last year, I had to do a butt ton of paperwork and meet three dozen new coworkers. It was too time consuming to say "I like to be called Shelley" to ALL of them. So now I'm Michelle at work and Shelley everywhere else. :) I suggest doing whatever works for you. This just happened to work for me.

leegomez said...

Feel your pain, lady. I've gone by my middle name FOREVER. All my family, save the great-aunt I'm named after, call me Lee. School calls me Do...they call me the other name. And I hate it. And it's on EVERYTHING.

But there is an upside. I won't have to struggle to create distance between my scientific publications (thesis, research papers) and my novels (should I ever get pubbed). The scientific ones go to press under my whole name (to match my diploma). With novels, I can go by Lee.

That way I don't have to learn to answer to anything else, LOL.

cailen ascher said...

both names are super unique - i like both! but i think cherokee is especially cool and memorable : )

cute blog - i'm your newest follower

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I bet that will be odd to hear your first name. At least it's something really cool. You'll probably start a lot of conversations with that name.

Christi Goddard said...

I use a shortened version of my full name because I LOATHE my first name, but legally have to use it so at every job I've ever had I had to correct people. For me, it is worth it because (again) I LOATHE my first name. But if you're cool with Cherokee and it doesn't make your eardrums feel like exploding when you hear it (like my first name because I LOATHE it), then I say go with it.

Mel Chesley said...

Lol@ Christi. I think she loathes her first name, don't you? I've shortened mine from Melissa to Mel. My mother hates that! lol
I think you should stick with your stripper name. Just kidding! I love both your names and you respond and like them both, so I wouldn't fuss too awful much over being called Cherokee. I'd reserve Summer for close friends and us of course. ;)

Adriana Noir said...

I have to agree with everyone else here, (as much as I loathe going with the crowd!) They are both such beautiful names, and if it makes things easier, just go with Cherokee at work and tell your friends to call you Summer. I really like the stripper name of Spooky though. ;))

Sommer Leigh said...

I feel your pain.

My real first name is Sommer, but Leigh is not my last name. It's my middle name. My married last night has never felt like "mine" and I've never really liked it. Of course, I love my husband, but the last name has never felt like me.

And I'm far enough away from my maiden name that it no longer feels like me either.

However, I've been Sommer Leigh online long enough that I have to often stop myself from putting that down at work.

I decided that when I become agented, I'm going to change my name legally to Sommer Leigh and take a new middle name: Ellen, which was my grandma's name. My husband and I talked about it, and he's very happy with it too. Honestly, I think he's started thinking of me as Sommer Leigh, too.

So I say, pick your name. Pick what you want. Change it legally if it will make your life easier, or go forth with your real name. Be who you feel like you are, even if it's not the name on your birth certificate.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've always had two names, one for friends and family, one for my career in the restaurant industry. I liked having two distinct names, along with two distinct personalities. With my friends I could be footloose and fancy free, and with my colleagues I wore a totally prefessional hat. It was sort of like having a split personality but I liked that.

And Cherokee is a totally super name to have. Just don't let people call you "Cherry".

Stephanie said...

With the badge and all, looks like you may just have to go by your first name. Good luck!

Sarah Ahiers said...

shit. the clear winner here is spooky. Straight up.
One weird thing about being a twin is when i hear someone call Anne, i have to look, because i'd say 40% of the time, they're actually talking to me and either, A) called me by the wrong name in mistake or B)actually think i'm Anne.

Scott Stillwell said...

Can't really give any advice, but I can empathize. I was christened with my Father's first name, but to avoid "confusion," I was given a different middle name so we could be yelled at using different monikers. This seems to be a common curse amongst Southerners.

I think I agree with Sarah that "Spooky" is the clear winner.

Anstice Brown said...

I can totally empathize. My birth name is Anstice but no one ever calls me that (except a couple of distant relatives). My nickname since the age of two has been Tizzy (meaning a state of nervous confusion or excitement; a dither) and even my teachers at school called me that. When I started work I went with Tizzy as I just wanted to be me, but they were all aware of my real name. Luckily they let me have Tizzy on my name badge, although I do wonder whether I am outgrowing it and it makes me sound unprofessional. But hey ho. It would be weird to change now.

If I were you I would just tell them you prefer Summer and ask if you can have that on your badge if possible.

Laura said...

Wow - that's quite some dilemma! I hope you managed a decision you were comfortable with! I'd definitely have gone with Cherokee as my professional name - I always like the idea of keeping a distinction between work life and 'real' life!
Good luck