Monday, November 9, 2009

Erin Go Braugh

I haven't blogged in a few days because I've felt pressure to write something about Singapore. As I haven't been in rehearsal or working, I've lacked inspiration to write. That's the story of my life: when I'm super busy, I always manage to find time to do what I love, but when I'm bored and have all the time in the world, I tend to do nothing. It's a nice little system I have going.

I just read my friend Joan's blog, which I do on a nearly daily basis because she is great at keeping up with her blog and her stories are always heart-warming and lovely. She just posted a blog about her name and it inspired me to write because that is certainly a subject I relate to.

I have really always hated my name. Mostly because I feel like I'm a very feminine "girly" girl and my name is very plain and sort of asexual. Whenever I say my name, whether at a doctors office, the DMV, a class, you name it, I get the response, "Is that with an "A" or and "E?"" And instead of smacking the person asking that question on the head, I just say, "With an "e," as in E-R-I-N." And in my head I continue, "The only way a WOMAN would spell it." Which, I know, nowadays there are thirty different ways to spell the name, but really, no offense, its original form and meaning is to be spelled ERIN, not Eryn, Erinn, Aryn, or whatever other combination I've seen through the years.

Erin is the romantic, poetic name for Ireland. It can be used as a male name, (in fact, I went to school with a male Erin, but that was really the only guy I have ever met,) but because of it's meaning it is really meant to be a female name. And "Aaron" is a male name and I have NEVER met a girl who spells it that way, yet I'm always asked if that is the spelling of my name. So even though it has a beautiful meaning, for me, that gets lost in the day to day hacking of it.

My mother was going to name me Megan, but she said when I was handed to her as a beautiful pink cherubic baby with blazing red hair, she thought "Erin" was the only fitting name for me. As my mother smiled retelling the story of my birth, all I wanted was for her to go back and name me Megan. My confusion with my name only grew larger when as a child my mother said she had to run "errands." Erins? huh? It took me many years to realize that wasn't about me.

I always wanted a cute girly name like Sally, Katie, or Brandy. Anything with a "y" or "ie" would have sufficed. When I was around ten I loved the Archie comics and named pretty much every Barbie doll or stuffed animal I had "Veronica" because I loved that name. No one would confuse Veronica for a boys name. And you just imagine Veronica to be in high heels, have beautiful long hair and wear red lipstick.

As I got into high school, and actually acquired friends of the male persuasian, they would all call me "Muroski." Although, no one ever pronounced my last name correctly so it was usually more like, "Mur-ow-ski," but I preferred it all the same. It wasn't very feminine but it was sassy, and that was definitely more "me." It caught on, and in college, pretty much everyone called me Muroski. All of a sudden, even though "Erin" couldn't be shortened or made into anything that felt like it belonged to me, I felt like at least part of my name defined me!

And then along came Julia Roberts in her award winning performance in Erin Brockovich and I was quickly back to despising my name. Because now, instead of having the powerful, spunky "Muroski" moneker, I had everyone going, "Hey, it's Erin Brokovich." And if I introduced myself for the first time, I ALWAYS, I mean EVERY TIME, elicited the response, "Oh, like Erin Brokovich?" Yeah. Just like Erin Brokovich.

Now the Erin Brokovich ship has pretty much sailed. I still get it from time to time, but certainly not like the 3 years at the end of my college days, thank goodness. And although I don't know if I've completely embraced "Erin," I know I love being called "Muroski." So much so, that I have to admit, I don't think I will ever change my last name. When I think of who I am and my name being my identity, I don't think I could be "Erin Who-si-whatsit," or any other last name. As my good friend Beau said to me one day when I was with him in NYC and I was feeling really sad and confused, "You're ERIN MUROSKI. You know that, right?" And, I thought, "Yeah . . . YEAH, I AM Erin Muroski! I can do anything! I rock!"

In the spirit of embracing your name no matter what, though, I have to say that I love that the only person who ever calls me "Erin Marie" is my father. I think if anyone else even tried to call me that, I'd have to correct them and let them know that is reserved for my Dad only. And although you wouldn't think my name could be shortened, my mom is the only person who calls me "Err" (pronounced like the first syllabel in "error.") So I guess there is comfort in "Erin" after all these years. I'd still prefer it if you'd call me Muroski, though.

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