THE BETHAN BIT
Names are powerful. They are verbal symbols that allow us vital communication. How long would it takes to describe a guitar, Botox, a Brazilian wax, if there weren’t names made up for them?
Names. Names. Names.
To name something is like we’ve captured it in a snare. “Ha, I’ve gotcha! Now behave.”
Name a tree and a tree is a tree. Unname a tree and it becomes this weird stumpy, spiky, rough to the touch, arms exploding out, clothed in velvet greeny damp flappy things THING. Un-named, a tree is mysterious, powerful and a bit magical.
Name an illness and everyone sighs in relief, but before you know what the illness is? Overwhelm. The mind goes wild. Thoughts desperately seek an answer to what could be wrong. Eventually the illness is “diagnosed” or “named” and ahhhhhhh, the person’s mind is put to rest. They aren’t cured, but they can deal with the situation now that it has a name.
For 23 years I was a Bethan.
A Bethan Christopher.
Mum chose the “Bethan” bit.
I commend her choice.
If there’s anything my mum is good at, it is thoughtful selection and a refusal to have anything less than the The Right One. Recent example: Her
pent chicken house costed near to £2000 and is the sort of poultry palace that only another insane hen lover could really appreciate (as I’m not sure the chickens do).
Anyway, I liked being a Bethan Christopher. It was all lovely. The perfect bow to the package that was mwah.
Then I got married.
And was handed a different ribbon.
There is always the option of double barreling two names, but I had a few nagging problems with this;
How do you fit Bethan Christopher-Stritton onto the spine of a book along with the title? If your born-out-of-wedlock-and-about-to-enter-wedlock kids have their father’s surname, isn’t it right for you – their mother – to have the same surname? If the receptionist at a surgery calls out, “Mrs Christopher-Stritton?” does it or does it not sound like she’s got a mouthful of cotton wool?
Eventually I gave in. After four years of name confusion I adopted Stritton.
My books were now published in Stritton. My company was founded on the name. My blog was named Bethan Stritton. My website address was Bethanstritton.com. It was all Strittonstrittonstritton.
Then. 6 Years On. The. Marriage. Came. To. An. End.
That was in 2011.
And since then, I ‘ve been wispily hanging like a cobweb on a chandelier … dangling between two surnames and two identities. Quite bizarre. Some days I feel like a ghost person – in limbo – with no real name. Other days I feel like Batman aka. Bruce. Problem is, having just one superhero name is not conducive with writing out cheques.
Considered changing surname by dipole to Fullstop. Bethan Fullstop.
Have also thought about taking on my maternal grandmother’s name (Armin). Bethan Armin? Or my paternal grandmother (Zelinksy). Bethan Zelinsky – Polish spy. Final conclusion was that even those names are the adopted names of families my women ancestors married into so they are really just as changeable as Stritton or Christopher.
Turns out that us ladies are the nameless tribe.
Isn’t that bizarre?
We have NO surnames of our own.
This all brings me to why I didn’t want to turn my Bethan Stritton Blogette (former name) into a Bethan Christopher Blogette. I’m done with surnames. I will indeed use “Christopher” when I need to but from now on, anything I do from books, to coaching, to world-wide speaking events, to the naming of a blog is no longer couldn’t to be dependent on anything except Bethan.
THE HOUSE BIT
Whilst in my wispy, cobweb from chandelier hanging stage, I began to search for the roots of my Mother-Chosen name. It turns out that “Beth” goes back to the Egyptian hieroglyph for B.
B was the pictogram of an Egyptian house – more specifically its floor plans.
The reality is that the serrated world of politics, media and blue chip businesses are male dominated. There is little that we can do as individuals to stand up and push back against multi-million pounds businesses, whether that’s Tesco or Monsanto.
Yet ask any Indian or Italian family and they’ll tell you that the women rule The House. And here’s the beautiful thing … Our whole global community is made up from billions of Houses. The more empowered the gorgeous people are who influence that house, the more they consciously design it – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and socially – and the more the future of this planet shifts from the Houses of Parliament to The Houses of Us.
To me the House doesn’t just represent your physical home. It represents your Life with all of it’s glorious, sumptuous balcony rooms.
Your attitudes and actions decide whether you’re going to build a terraced cottage or a mansion.
You – the Designer – get to inhabit your House and throw the dinner parties.
And the House of Bethan, aligned with it’s origional meaning in ancient Egyptian, is dedicated to helping provide the floor plans. Just how bloody exciting is that?