Evelyn, Evvy, and me


In the house I live in as Evvy and the city I aspire to live in as Evelyn.

My name is important to me. 

I grew up with legends, stories, and fairytales where names are often the most valuable thing a person can have. 

I grew up in worlds where names were currency—traded through half-whispers in the dark, stolen from the lips of unknowing victims, and bartered across cities as valuably as gold. I grew up in times when names held power; where they had to be written down instead of spoken, lest the bearer of the name is listening. 

I was ingrained with the ideology that my name meant something more than the sound of the letters in someone’s mouth. 

I have a name. I have names. Different people call me different things. Different people mean different things to me, so I tell them my name differently.

Evvy doesn’t care what her hair looks like when she leaves the house, and it shows, but she is happier than me.

Evvy doesn’t care what her hair looks like when she leaves the house, and it shows, but she is happier than me.

First, I was Evvy. I am Evvy still, no matter how much I tell people I don’t want to be called that anymore. When I’m Evvy, I’m a sister, daughter, niece, and cousin. 

As Evvy, I’m a childhood best friend who you lost touch with too long ago. We both changed our names so long ago, but I still think of you as if I still went by Evvy. I wonder sometimes if you’re still one of the few people who call me Evvy. 

As Evvy, I’m still a child playing on the beach in a swimsuit and matching bucket hat. Evvy is a little girl who eats too many strawberries on her birthday, spends too much time at her gymnastics practices, and never cleans her room.

Evvy is messy and unorganized and happy.

Evvy still loves going to school and can’t wait for spring break to be over. 

Evvy doesn’t care what her hair looks like when she leaves the house, and it shows, but she is happier than me. 

She isn’t constricted by the confines of knowing how big her world could be. She isn’t scared of the expanse of the universe in the same way that I am now. 

Evvy lays on the grass in the summertime and doesn’t worry about when she’ll have to get up.

Then I was Evelyn. I’m mostly Evelyn now; only hints of Evvy are left in the roots of myself. 

Evelyn is a student, an acquaintance, and a group project member. 

I like Evelyn better. Evelyn is elegant—how I want to be seen. 

Evelyn is put together and turns in all her assignments on time. Evelyn keeps up with her bullet journal every week and has her next four months planned out ahead of time.

I like the name Evelyn better. I like the idea of Evelyn better. Evelyn is the idealistic version of myself, perfectly curated to be everything I’ve ever wanted to be.

My parents never planned on me going by my full name. Evelyn is me growing up and choosing something for myself. 

Evelyn decided years ago that she would be something in the world and then began to work at it. 

Evvy may be happier, still lying somewhere on the grass in the summertime, but she will be a child forever, and I can’t be that person anymore. 

Evvy is carefree and full of life, but Evelyn is ambitious. Evelyn will be somebody. Someday, I will fully believe that I am Evelyn, and I will be exactly who I want to be.

And someday, when I can introduce myself as Evelyn without hesitation and the shorter name on the tip of my tongue, I’ll have some room left to let hints of Evvy back in.