Surname Association

I was just upstairs with Matt as he was reading the paper and spotted someone with the surname Erickson. “You have relatives in Australia, sweets!” he told me, continuing with “It’s even spelled your way!”

This is rare – Erickson, as a surname, is probably not the most uncommon you will hear. However oftentime it’s spelled Ericcson, Ericsson or Erikson, deriving from – you guessed it – Eric/k’s Son in the good ol’ days.

I went on to tell Matt, though, that this isn’t actually my blood surname, even though I have some of the physical traits associated with Scandinavian surnames, such as Erickson. Because my paternal grandfather was adopted by his stepfather, we acquired the name Erickson. In actuality, the surname in our family is only a few generations old and not likely to continue past myself and my cousins since none of us are poppin’ out baby boys (unless, of course, my dad’s cousin’s daughters have kids that keep the Erickson name alive) and bucking the tradition of giving them their dad’s surname.

In fact, I should be a Meyers. My paternal grandfather was born Charles R Meyers, and my great-grandfather was Charles H Meyers. While I’m still digging into my ancestry online, what came to my mind when I was talking to Matt was this:

How much of my life has been inadvertently decided for me because of my last name? In grade school, we were often seated or organized alphabetically, so I got to know the Ds, Es, Fs and Gs around me (including the infamous R. Gladstone who drove me bonkers for many years; may he rest in peace). Did I befriend these people because they were close? Would I have had a completely different set of friends/acquaintances if my grandfather had never adopted his step-father’s name?

This may seem like a random subject, but it has made me think about how life could have turned out differently with an alternate name. Would my first name still be Joslyn – does it work as well with Meyers? Would I have the same middle name? Would I have gone through the world as a Chelsea or a Mackenzie or a Tina? Do names influence personalities, character traits, preferences? Would I have travelled? Would I still have felt a bond with Mika, Alaya, Raihana and others with similarly unique names?

Am I the person I am today because of my last name?

Such a big thought from a small comment.

Let me know what you think! Much love and many hugs,
Joslyn Mariah Erickson

 

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2 thoughts on “Surname Association

  1. You could probably pull off Mackenzie or Chelsea — but there’s no way you’d be a Tina.

    There have been many occasions in my life when I’ve had to explain the same thing about the “Erickson” name. But it boils down to you and I just being MUTTS — or, if you prefer — we have our own unique pedigree!

    With so many divergent possible future paths available in every next second — you could have had a multitude of different lives and/or names.

    Let your mind feast or fester with these thoughts:
    What if we’d stayed in Hillsboro?
    What if we’d only stayed the originally-intended one year at the house?
    What if you had been seriously injured in one of the events that made you “Little Survivor”?
    What if you still played the cello or saxophone?
    What if you hadn’t had or taken the opportunities to travel?
    What if you hadn’t gone to breakfast with Matt as you were winding-up your tour?
    What if you had a dad who had accomplished one of his projects?
    What if I’d been mean and cruel and made you drink your drool?
    AND — heaven-forbid — what if I hadn’t let you stay up to watch MASH when you were five?

    Some current theories suggest that every possible future for each of us exists in alternate realities — that every path not taken by us in this reality becomes an alternate reality that exists just slightly out-of-phase alongside our own. As you know, I believe that’s possible — and if it isn’t true, at least it’s fun to think about! [However, the experience I had on the Hawthorne bridge back when we had the Orange Dodge Omni Hatchback — is just one example of why I believe it’s true. As I got lightly rear-ended, I looked in the rear-view mirror, saw & heard the back window shatter and fall into the back of the car — but then — as we made sure each other was OK — the guy who hit me stated that there didn’t seem to be any real damage and I said that the only damage I noticed was the shattered back window. As he looked at me like I was high (I wasn’t) or delusional (always a possibility) — he pointed out that the window was intact — completely undamaged. (Even as we had been talking I “saw” the window as “broken” — the pile of shattered glass in the car shimmering in the glow of the streetlight. Only after he pointed it out did I “see” that the window was still there.) I immediately knew that I had had a rare glimpse into an alternate reality.

    Anyway, whatever the effect of your surname on your life, I believe that you always would, will and do end up being a person as spectacular a human being as the Joslyn Mariah Erickson that we all know and love! (Even where you end up being “Myrtle” or Gertrude”.)

    [And remember, “Garp” was seriously considered as your first or middle name. 🙂 — think of how THAT would have changed your life.]

    Love ya,

    That Dad Guy

  2. I forgot to mention that, as you know, you could have been an “Erickfield”! (That would’ve altered your life, too!) Thankfully, your mom & I came to our senses after a couple of weeks of thinking about it.

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