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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why I Named My Blog "Misspelling My Own Name"

I suppose you are wondering about the title of my new blog. Well, the most prosaic and mundane explanation is that I almost always misspell my name when I type it and have to go back and correct it. I misspelled it when I signed up for this blog, and it saved the blog from being named something enormously creative like “Marliss’ blog.” I thought about how I almost always misspell my name, and how that would be a good name for a blog. Sort of like Dave Barry and his good names for a rock band.

And I signed up for this blog almost by accident. I actually wanted to do a WordPress blog, but I noticed that Blogger is a Google application, so I signed up. Brand loyalty is my middle name (sometimes to my detriment) so even though Google occasionally acts like a naughty child, here I am. We’ll see if I stay here.

But the real reason I named my blog this is because it is a good description of my life. When I was born, I had severe jaundice, erythroblastosis, and pyloric stenosis. Having pyloric stenosis is so unusual for a girl that 12 years later, when we were back in the area and visited my old pediatrician, he said that he would have recognized me by my scar. Weeks in the hospital, a blood transfusion, and an operation cured all problems. So it was all okay in the end.

I am left-handed in a right-handed world. This means that when I measure something with a 12” ruler that I subtract the length of it from 12. It means that I hold scissors upside-down, and that in a classroom I usually write my notes with my left arm suspended in the air over a right-handed desk, dragging my hand through what I just wrote.

But it’s all okay in the end. When I learned to write, I had a wonderful kindergarten teacher who taught me to hold the pencil correctly so that I do not write upside down. They say, those anonymous experts we all like to quote, that people who were shamed into changing their handedness (because after all, there is something innately wrong with being left-handed) have a harder time adjusting to the world, not just physically but psychologically. The only time I was made to feel different was my mother seating me on the left end of the table so that my elbow didn’t collide with the elbow of the right-handed person beside me as we ate. And more and more, the world is making accommodation for the 15% of the population which is left-handed.

I was born into the family of an Air Force officer, and I had a wonderful childhood. Unfortunately, though my mother was a Christian, I didn’t learn the things that I needed to learn. I was given the responsibility very early of making my own decisions as to what I read, what I watched, and what I did, including what, if any, religion I would follow. It was not instilled in me that good character means knowing the right thing to do, and doing it even when no one is looking. In my early adult years I led a selfish, promiscuous, drugged lifestyle. At age 26 I had no degree, no job, no place to live, a failed marriage, and a five-year-old daughter to support.

But it’s all okay in the end. My parents took in my daughter and me, and I went back to college to get my degree. That’s where I met the man who became my husband, and he introduced me to the Love of my life, the One who had loved me, watched over me, and preserved me as His own before I grew to love Him and call Him Savior and Lord.

So that’s why calling my blog “Misspelling My Own Name” is so appropriate. I may misspell my name the first time I write it, I may make all sorts of mistakes, I may be clumsy, I may stick my foot in my mouth, I may even die an average of nine years early because I am left-handed, but it’s all okay in the end. I correct the spelling, I laugh at my mistakes and deal with their consequences, repent and ask forgiveness for my offenses, and I look forward to going home to be with my sweet Savior. And it’s all okay—and better than okay—in the end.


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