This past Christmas I did my best to personalize everyone’s gifts, primarily with monogramming. From necklaces to aprons and decanters almost everyone’s gift featured a little personalization. I exchanged gifts with my best friends boyfriend, who also happens to be a friend of mine. The gift I received from him featured a little to and from card and on the card it said
“To : CIEKAIKAI
Now normally I wouldn’t really think anything of this but here’s the thing… nobody really calls me by my blog/youtube name outside of work. Around friends and family everyone calls me Christina (except for my one uncle who always says Christine). Now, here’s where things start to change. After Christmas, I was going through some small gifts and I saw the tag, and something changed. This name: ciekaikai, I connect with it but on a formal level. I see myself as Christina at home, and ciekaikai for work and online. But after seeing that gift tag for some reason these two sides of me came together.
*I know this sounds odd but in the grand scheme of things this will, in fact, make sense*
Okay here’s an example:
I have a friend who doesn’t associate with his given name, so he changed his name (not legally) to Disco. Everyone calls him by the name he’s given himself and it works. It’s funny because when I first met him I was almost a little confused. I wasn’t sure if that was the name he was given, and if so why did his parents name him Disco etc… But now, I understand the power in a name.
A name isn’t just a word that you use to call upon someone – it’s your identity. So here I was, finally feeling a sense of connection to this online and professional identity I had created for myself, and boy did it feel powerful. Me online, ciekaikai, Christina typing this article, I see myself as a voice for everyday incredible people, people who struggle yet try and enjoy life to the fullest. So imagine finally feeling fully and completely connected to that, I no longer felt like “just the girl who writes the articles and creates the videos”; I became the youtuber and the writer. Here was my friend Jesse fully and completely believing in me and seeing me as I wanted to be seen … but here I was the one struggling with this identity I had created for myself.
Jesse’s ability to see me how I couldn’t see myself allowed me to cut through my self-doubts and just… be me; Christina and ciekaikai not separate, but as one.
Just goes to show sometimes it really does take someone else believing in you to help you believe in yourself.