No first grader wants to be called Katherine. It wasn’t even about disliking the name. It’s not an ugly name – I just didn’t have the patience to spell it out at the top of every school page. I guess you could say I’ve always been that way… impatient. Stubborn. Independent. My mom likes to tell others about how I beat her from within while she carried me – and I feel like I’ve been punching my way through life ever since.
“Katie” seemed like such a better fit growing up… short, to the point, and it didn’t take as long to write. But I guess I’ve always felt some kind of disconnect with that as well. During my middle school years, I tried every which way to spell it. Each year was a new name; Kat, a very short-lived Kathy, and finally I settled on Katy for a while, eventually circling back to the good old-fashioned, classic Katie – ‘Kate’ to a few loved ones. I’m still okay with Kate. It’s more of an endearing call. I know I’m safe when I hear it. There’s no chance I’m in trouble… “Katherine” was always saved for the times of discipline and punishment.
I suppose my former on-going battle with my name very closely represented my struggle with myself. I’ve always been the heavy one, the fat one, the ugly one, the she-doesn’t-fit-in one, the so-not-funny one, the shy one, the teacher’s-pet one, the one other’s laughed at and made fun of… but none of those ever felt like who I truly was inside. And that has been my battle for as long as I can remember. Everyone else always had their own opinions of who I should be and tried to force them upon me – because I didn’t know any better; I had no idea who I was. I was just a kid, a young girl, trying to grow up in a world full of opinions and standards.
I’ve always wanted to be beautiful. Beautiful people are successful. Beautiful people are interesting and funny and popular. I would have done anything to be beautiful. Now that I’m older, I understand that beauty is something entirely different than the shape of body parts. I wish I had known that growing up – I would have done life a lot differently. But that’s one thing I have to let go of… easier said than done, of course.
This is my journey of my new beautiful; mind, body, soul and spirit.
Who am I? I’m finding that out more and more every day. I’m a Christian, first and foremost. I don’t believe in condemnation and judgments – I believe in love… loving people, loving myself and loving God. I believe that is the highest calling asked of us and that message has gotten lost in between the war of religion and the battle over right and wrong. I’m a dreamer. I crave adventure and exploration. I love learning. I love my mom. I love my brother. My friends are like family and my family is very close to my heart. I am such a lover of photography; this runs in my family and it makes me feel unexplainably connected to them. I love hiking and I love the outdoors… I just don’t love when the outdoors touch me. I’m obsessed with the sky and the sun and the stars. I’m so much more than words, as we all commonly are, but they’re my favorite form of expression. I love to write… and I am learning to love Katherine.
He calls me Katherine. And He calls me beautiful.