I want to know what you think of your first name

I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word 'home' means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were eight. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms? Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? ... Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds.

- Andrea Gibson


  1. I love this. every question floods my mind with emotions, memories and stories that could be told over a good cup of white chai with lactose free vanilla coffee mate ;) my name...is of no consequence to me...that's why I change it all the time. im Yoshi, joey, glendajoey, donut, glendi, xiomara, bone....when I was younger I thought it was an old white ladies name. now its the real person, the vulnerable person, the serious person, that pensive guarded person that arises every time someone approaches me with the name. Joey..thats the free spirit who doesn't care. Its joey who eats all the ice cream I can swallow and its Glenda who later regrets it when im hunched over with severe stomach cramps and nausea. Yoshi is the little sister. and JOENDA is the kind person who loved conversions with the man who NEVER could say my name correctly. I think he had it right all this time ;)

  2. Lauren, this is absolutely beautiful and a reminder as to why I read your words. And I want to thank you for this, especially when you said, "See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living." So much of this world defines people by their job, who they work for, their title, their pay. You hit on what I feel, in so many lights, in that if we are to be defined it should be on how we live.

    1. Okay, I realize they aren't your words after noting the name at the bottom but I appreciate you sharing them nonetheless.

  3. My name is very common and that bothered me when I was younger but not so much now. My husband calls me Baby so I don't hear my first name much these days.

    I love this passage. Always love what you share here. If your future coffee house is anything like your blog it will surely be a great success.

    Welcome back stateside! I hope you and the boys are happy and well. :)


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