Mini-blog

What’s in a name?

July 8, 2021

“Words have meaning and names have power”, said an unknown someone.  If by changing your name, you could help unleash your potential, empower yourself, and live authentically as the person you’re meant to be, what name would you choose for yourself? I’m not suggesting you need to rename yourself to achieve these goals, but thinking about this might help you discover who you are beneath all the stuff that you aren’t. It’s akin to the exercise of imagining what would change if you stopped living life as the product of the “I’m-not-enough” story you tell yourself.

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I’ve chosen the penname Annie Gyg (pronounced “jig”). Not because I don’t like my legal name, but because this chosen name inspires me and fits the evolving-me like a glove. And, very significantly, unknown to my dad and me at the time, he provided me with the essence of what would become a precious, lasting name gift, long before he died much too young in 1976.

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When I was a preschooler in the late 1950’s, Dad called me “Annie Get Your Gun”, after the popular 1950 musical western. I loved that nickname because growing up as the fourth daughter in a family of ultimately nine kids, I got a lot of hand-me-downs and we shared lots of stuff. But this name from Dad was special, it was mine and mine alone.

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The years went by; I held the nickname in my heart. Then one day as a budding writer, I was contemplating pennames and the long-ago gifted name sprang from my heart into my head—ta da! I knew it was exactly what I was looking for – a name that would reflect who I was becoming. It needed shortening though, hence GYG as the acronym for Get Your Gun. Annie Gyg was born. 

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And other than the feel-good, love association with Dad, why did it seem like such a good fit? How did it reflect my evolving self? The answer lies in the acronym within the acronym. But first, what do I mean—my evolving self?

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I was becoming an advocate for personal development, initially because I’d been experiencing first-hand the awesomeness of growing self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love, and when you experience something that makes you feel so good, you feel driven to share it so others can likewise experience it. But it’s evolved into something more.

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I’ve noticed as I’m becoming increasingly comfortable in my relationship with myself, I’m at the same time becoming increasingly enabled to bring a better, less fettered me into my relationships with others—at home, at work and at play. By unfettering and bettering myself, I’m bettering my interpersonal interactions within my sphere of influence, and that’s how we individually help make the world a better place. It’s my goal to keep doing the self-work for me and the world, knowing I still have a long way to go.

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Back to the acronym within the acronym to bring all this together. The last “g” in “Gyg” stands for “gun”, and my mind sees “gun” as the acronym for “genuine unique nature”. This means that Dad’s nickname for me actually became my life-changing, motivating directive: Annie, get your genuine unique nature. Discover and enable your authentic, one-of-a-kind, character.

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Why embrace this ongoing work of actualizing my genuine unique nature? I’ll explain using “gun” metaphorically, in a beneficial rather than harmful sense. If each one of us gets our “gun”, collectively we’ll become an invincible, global army of empowered individuals able to take aim at making our personal life and our shared world a happier, healthier, better place to be. That’s why.

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Thanks, Dad.

Love, Annie Get-your-gun.

Hi, I’m Annie Gyg. I’m drawn to write because one of the things that I find most fulfilling is sharing my life experiences and thoughts in the hope that some little snippit from my bountiful collection of mess ups and peculiar thought processing may actually help someone somewhere actualize their real, unencumbered self—as so many writers have done for me. You—authentic and unfettered—are best positioned to make a positive difference in a world desperately begging for change.

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