Who are you?
Are you your name?
There are many ways that we differentiate ourselves:
- Passport – identifies us by our names, our age, height and so one.
- Unique Biological Markers – such as our DNA, our finger prints and pupil of our eye.
- Physical Characteristics – like our faces, our bodies, our scars and so on.
- Thoughts – everything that is going inside our brain.
- Soul – mystical marker that gives us self-awareness and makes us feel inside our own body.
My question to the whole identity issue is how much can we change it?
Over the years, I have been working on many aspects of my life. I have done sports, I have changed my style, I have travelled the world and I have learned new languages. My values and my ideas about the world have changed. Many things that make me the “I” have changed over the years. This all to say that “I” had a very dynamic aspect, changing the person inside my body and outer look as well.
In fact, every time I have changed something about myself, my old identity would stop to exist and therefore I would became a new person.
Some people would consider this act of changing as a form of death, a death of old and the birth of a new. Through the death of the old, the new comes to be.
These changes can be very small, like starting to pronounce a word differently, or more drastic, as getting a tattoo. In any case, even if the changes are not visible, they forever change a person.
The lesson is of course to be always growing and evolving. We should embrace the change and change with the world, since it is going to change with or without us. We should accept or dynamic and constantly changing self, sometimes in more ways that we would like to admit to ourselves. This is perhaps the reason we should not live in the past. Everything that happened than is important, but is changeable.
Still is everything changeable? Is anything about us that is constant?
Today, we still cannot change our DNA. We don’t have technology for it. Perhaps in the future we will. Some other physiological characteristics, as for example our pupils, is harder, but still possible to change. Our soul is questioned to even exist. Most other changes is possible to change, if only we have a will to do it.
So how easy is it to change a persons name?
Just start calling yourself something else, like Mike, right?
As a joke everyone can change their name for a day, but only few people dare to make the change permanent or semi permanent. A person needs to have strong reasons if he is to decide to do so.
I have indeed found a good reason to do so.
My reason to do so is experiment. As part of being Free from Marketing I wanted to know how much my name identifies me.
Additional, I have been born in Russia, officially known as Russian Federation. Both of my parents are Russian and I have inherited my middle name and my surname from my father. My mothers contribution in my name was to pick my first name.
So my middle name is Olegovitgh or in cerillic Олегович, which means the son of Oleg (Олег). My sun will be Romanov (Романов), son of Roman. When I explain to people how the names in Russia work I always add that Romanov is also the name of dynasty of Russian czars. If I am therefore to call my son Roman, his son will be Roman Roman Romanov. Good joke. Everyone laughs.
It is a nice idea, but lets get back to the things that matter.
My surname is the same as of my father and of his father before that. My surname is Narojnyi, with in cyrillic is Нарожный. It is a good and quite unique surname in Russia as no one besides people from my family tree have it.
Furthermore, my first name is Roman. I was supposed to be called Gabriel, but something happened. I was born on a Saint Valentines day (14 of February), which is an international lovers day. Unknown to people Saint Valentines day has two saints: Saint Valentine and Saint Roman. So there I am, called after a Saint. This also makes sense since Roman is associated with words like romance.
Also, on a side note, it is not ideal to be born on a Saint Valentines day, because it is virtually impossible to book a restaurant or invite your friends for birthday celebration.
Overall, Roman Olegovitgh Narojnyi is a good, unique, strong name and easily pronounceable in Russian. Still it is virtually unpronounceable in other languages, which don’t use cyrillic letters.
This is a reason is another reasons I chose to change my name. My name now is Roman Russo.
This is not a real name, though. Official changes take to long and are too bureaucratic for my taste. The name is therefore an pseudonym.
According to Wikipedia, an alias is “a name people use to hide their real name, as it is with writers ‘pen name’”.
The advantage of this name is that it is easy to remember. The disadvantage of it to my real name is that there are many people with this name. On Facebook alone there are more than 35 people.
How I tell people to find me now is by looking for Roman Russo Amstredam. This search gives only 2 results.
So there is a new challenge of becoming unique. I have hope.
Following the video on the VSause youtube channel – “Name”, there are many people on earth with the same name, and the number is growing. VSouce further makes a prediction that because of mere quantity on people it is very likely that someone with your name will become famous. So I have to become famous more that 35 people on facebook and everyone else who is not.