In 1987, my father was newly 30, and in the ripe of his moderate obsession with philosopher and writer Ayn Rand. I was baby number three, and in the dead of winter, just six days before Christmas in a town outside Toronto, my father would insist on a little spelling homage in my name. Jillanna, how it is to be said, would be come Jillayna.
Some unusual names can actually work -- and might be enjoyed. And, more importantly, it shouldn't matter what your name is. Or how you look, or where you're from, or your sexual orientation or whether you have disabilities. We are each as worthy as anyone else -- and deserving of respect and kindness.
Beware of what I call the "Name Fad." Sure, it sounds hip now, but in 30 years, the names Natalie, Chelsea, Samantha, and Lindsay will sound how Nancy, Cheryl, Susan, and Linda do today. And in 60 years, the names Ethan, Cody, Brandon, and Matthew will be Earl, Chester, Bernard, and Melvin. These are all just Name Fads -- only difference is when they happened.
There's always something that rudely awakens us to the reality of age. The blank stare of the thirty-something at the office when I mentioned 'fiddling while Rome burns.' The moment I hesitated to use the words 'pay phone' to describe a telecom job on my resume. Or simply that slightly panicky feeling I've felt when I've left home without even a tiny tube of concealer in my makeup bag.