“Oh hey, Bree!”
“Whats up, Gabi?”
“Hey Bridget, are you the one who lost their phone?”
“It’s Libby, right?”
Although I couldn’t tell you where Bridget or Libby derived from, the amount of different names that have been bestowed upon me this last week is undeniably too many. But it’s understandable. Since birth, I’ve only been responding to what most of you may know me as now: Bree. But Gabriella is what’s on paper: dispersed among the many official documents, applications, and forms it took to get me here.
And don’t ask me why ‘Bree’ was ever in the question. I guess my parents couldn’t decide between the both so they decided to have Gabriella take the legal route and Bree stick with me through everything else (also: Ga-BRI-ella? eh, who knows).
But I believe this name mishap couldn’t have presented itself at a better time. This past week I have had time to think. Not just about the amazing daily workshops we’ve had here at training, but myself, on such a level that I have never experienced. The intellectuality, depth, curiosity, and kindness my peers here have portrayed combined with such a beautiful, globally aware, and lively atmosphere have forced me to rethink a lot of my values and personal goals. I will not go into detail, but let me express that these thoughts have crawled their way up to even the superficial of levels; I have decided that the next step for me in connecting with my true self is by going by my real name.
I feel like I have been saving this; attempting to perfectly time the reveal of something that has always been there, just like I have saved an article of clothing for a bit because it’s too special to wear anytime soon. And now it has sat in the back of the closet for a while, and I finally have found the courage and the perfect event to pull it out for.
I am finally ready to wear that garment loud and proud as a symbol of a fresh me.
New start, new (ish) name.
This week of training has been so insane- in such a great way. I’ve learned that one of the continuous questions/themes seen involved with this type of global leadership experience is what will/should my role in my community be and what are the steps to get there? Can one really serve a community without being an engaged and informed community member there first?
I’ll leave you with this:
“We must be silent before we can listen.
We must listen before we can learn.
We must learn before we can prepare.
We must prepare before we can serve.
We must serve before we can lead.”
(Thank you to the Global Citizen Year staff for this thought provoking quote)