Some of you may have guessed that the name “Wolfe” is a pseudonym and you would be correct. But, ‘Wolfe’ is no longer just a nickname. I am Wolfe.
I started this blog roughly nine months ago. In all that time I have come to realize how important writing is for me. I journaled as extensively as I could during my adventure and to see the difference in word choice and tone as my mental health improved was amazing. In the beginning, I was so clearly insecure, scared, and struggling.
Here’s an excerpt from when we first arrived in Prague:
“I am beginning to feel shitty again…I don’t know what to do. Was this a mistake? Maybe traveling like this was a bad idea, maybe it would be best to go home. Last night we went to my favorite bar from when I studied abroad, Vzorkovna. It started out fine, but then I couldn’t breathe and had to run out of there. I found a seat in the courtyard of Narodni Divadlo and cried. I don’t think I can do this”
Now here is a passage I wrote last week where I listed the things that I learned over the course of nine months of travel.
- I am capable of so much more than I thought
- The fear of something that I experience is usually from the length of time that has passed since doing that something last. The longer amount of time that passes, the scarier it seems. Keep doing.
- I have a genuine impact on people in a good way.
- People listen and look up to me.
- I can talk to anyone willing to listen and I can listen to almost anyone willing to talk.
- I have a lot of love to give, but at the same time, I’m still trying to understand what it is.
- I need to cry. Especially if I am alone. It is a release
- I underestimate and undervalue myself
- I am infectious
- I am sexy
- I love myself
- My greatest tools are my words to share my experience
- I am capable of anything
- Be scared, but do it anyways. Keep going Wolfe.
These are two very different people. The first displayed hopelessness and fierce discouragement, the second has emotional maturity and realistic but lasting confidence.
Changing my name wasn’t actually my idea. My favorite class that I took at university was Internet Marketing with Professor Niklas Myhr. I begrudgingly admit that I did, in fact, enjoy some of my business courses; I know…it makes me feel gross too. I immediately took to Professor Myhr, the way that he taught the subject was so infectious you couldn’t help but hang on his every word. The majority of the course was how to use the Internet to your benefit in terms of marketing yourself.
There was one day in class where we had a guest lecturer, Saba Sedighi. Saba is a social media Guru, and what she said during the lecture I don’t actually remember because it didn’t matter. Not at all because I wasn’t interested, but because that girl could sell encyclopedias to the illiterate and I was buyin’. I went up to her after class and asked if she would agree to meet with me for some coffee because I had a few questions. She agreed and we set a date.
I told her some of my lofty goals to be AN ARTIST, or A WRITER, or A BIKINI GIRL THAT HOLDS THE SIGN DURING WRESTLING MATCHES, and for once I wasn’t volleyed back with “pffft, yeah okay.” She actually listened and then laid down the fucking law. One of the first things she said was, “Change your name. You have to change your name if you are going to be successful in the creative space. You are ‘un-Google-able’. I mean…it’s just so pedestrian and Pollyanna anyways.” Okay, that last bit was my own interjection. But, I listened, and Wolfe was born because of her and Professor Myhr, so thank you both.
Want to know my old name? Sure, it’s…not important because it’s not who I am. Just know that it was so common that if you Google my old name there are 113,000,000 hits. I was lost in cyberspace. If I’m the product I am trying to sell, my name needs to be memorable, I’ve already got a pretty package, I just needed a name that reflected who I am, and more importantly, who I want to be.
Last week I wrote about traveling on my own and in addition to the resurgence of old insecurities while I was in Copenhagen, I also began to refer to myself as my old name, which I found so interesting. I’m a Gemini so I suppose it is in my nature to understand things by separating them and categorizing them. For me, my old name became an adjective for all of the things I disliked about myself and “Wolfe” carried all of the characteristics that I valued.
The name Wolfe was difficult to swallow in the beginning. It felt like a balancing act between trying to chew gum with the teeth on the right side of my mouth and avoid the rocks on the left as the syllable escaped my lips. Wolfe was too strong of a name, too cool, too interesting…not me. Well, not yet.
Ironically, it took other people to be able to own my own name. There were a few instances where I would confess to the illegitimacy of my name, only to be surprised to hear them validate my new namesake by telling me how incongruent they found my old name to who I am. That is how I always felt as well, I never liked my name, it was too presidential, too suburbia, too small.
I think one of the most powerful lessons I learned is that nothing lasts, nothing is permanent. Which is something I used to find incredibly depressing. But now, the impermanence of life is inspiring. If something is not okay, I know I am able to change it. I have always disliked my name, it never felt like mine…so I created a new one, one that sounded like who I wanted to be.
Much love & many adventures,