I was just thinking about how much I like my name. Which has very little with anything anyone else has ever told me about my name. One of the only comments I can recall ever hearing regarding my name was:
"You have such a GIRLY name!"
(The girl who told me that is named 'Alexa' and I really don't see how that is a LESS girly name, but okay.)
But I was thinking about how few book or movie characters are ever named Clare. Which is a real shame, because my name is really awesome. The only movie I can think of with a character named Clare is Alvin and the Chipmunks (Woo hoo. Great.), and I honestly don't know that I've ever read a book where a major character was named Clare. I wonder why. It seems like we have no end of characters named Anna, Margaret, or Catherine. (I have sisters by all three of those names, by the way!)
I admit I used to dislike my name. When I was trying DESPERATELY to fit in with a bunch of girls who weren't all that nice OR special, I hated my name for several reasons:
1. Clare has no nicknames that come directly from the name. Unless we want to get REALLY creative. But aside from Clare Bear...yeah. Even the name Anna has nicknames: Annie, Anne, Anna Banana.
2. My parents did not choose the French spelling of the name, so there's no 'i' in my name. I literally begged my mom to let me spell my name Claire. The reason for that, embarrassingly, was because I wanted to be able to dot the 'i' with a heart. I'm ashamed of my younger self.
3. At the time, I firmly believed my name was boring. No one else was named Clare, and if they were, they spelled it the 'cool' way. Clare. Blah. How BORRRRING.
But, hey, I was kind of stuck with the name because a twelve year old has no legal rights with which to change their name. And what do you know? I GOT OVER IT!
Recently, I've kind of fallen in love with my name. If you ever say a word over and over and over, it starts to sound really foreign and you even wonder, "Am I even saying this correctly!?" I've done that with my name before. It goes something like:
Or if you say "CLARE" really slowly and pronounce that L as hard as you can, my name starts to sound very French.
We don't think about our names very often; we take them for granted. But they make a huge impact in the world. If you know someone's name, you have the power to address them, acknowledge them, and ultimately get to know them.
I think Clare is a beautiful name. I think it sounds elegant and dignified. From a very young age, I've known that my name means bright, clear, or famous. BRIGHT is the word most commonly associated with it. I love that. I have always loved that my name meant, basically, the opposite of 'dark'.
I was named after St. Clare of Assisi. In St. Clare's native tongue (Italian), the name is Chiara (KEY-ARE-UH). St. Clare is well-known and well-loved throughout the world because she loved God enough to give up everything for Him. I love being named after St. Clare. She's such a beautiful example of how to love and give heroically.
Names are important. I'm very grateful to my parents for giving me such a lovely and meaningful name. There's nothing better than when I hear someone say my name with respect or affection, "Clare,"
Me: Looking strange and unrecognizable due to hair being abnormally fabulous one day.