What is in a Name

The Heartbreaker by my student, the eagle

 At twelve-years-old I became a major troublemaker. I began to fight a lot, skip school, and run with the wrong crowd. In addition, I dated guys that were three to five years older than me. It didn’t seem wrong to me because I was born middle-aged and got older every year.

During this time some people thought I was a heartless girl. I was not heartless; I just switched boyfriends more often than normal—like weekly. I had fun breaking hearts, and I did not want to stop. Due to my constant heartbreaking, I acquired the nickname “Heartbreaker,” a name I didn’t agree with at first. It did not help my case to have a reputation of being a “bad girl.”

My new name followed me all through middle school, high school, and my neighborhood. Several of the kids I went to middle school with attended my high school. Soon no one called me by my given name, not even teachers. My moniker changed people’s perception of me, but since I always saw myself as uncaring, the name fit, unlike my legal name, which meant eagle. One thing my new name did not change was the fact that guys still dated me, and I still broke their hearts.

The funny part about the whole thing was that none of the guys I dated believed that I could, or would, break their hearts. No matter how many people said they witnessed it or experienced it, not one guy thought it could happen to him until it did.   

There was only one appalling and awful part about having the name Heartbreaker. When I wanted to be serious with my friend Niguel, he kept his distance from me. He was a friend of mine, but he would not date me because of my reputation. This was appalling because I’d never had any guy reject me, and it was awful because I really liked him. His decision to reject me broke my heart. If I wanted Niguel, I had to prove myself.

I chose not to date anyone for three months. I just ran solo and kept to myself unless I was with my friends. In the end, it paid off. Niguel began to show a more than a “just friends” interest in me. After two months we started to become serious. He is now my fiancé, but that’s a story for another time.

I learned an important lesson in those years. No matter how amusing something is, it’s not always worth the reputation that comes with it. I had fun breaking hearts because I had been hurt so much, but Niguel showed me how it felt. After my heart was broken, I didn’t like my nickname any more. It took along time for me to break loose from it.

Today I don’t identify with my moniker. I respond to and enjoy my legal name. A name is an identity, and I want to be an eagle, not a heartbreaker. Eagles are known for their perseverance, strength, and intelligence. Despite the dilemmas I’ve experienced in life, I’ve become stronger, and I’ve gained intelligence. That is why I am an eagle rather than a heartbreaker. 


About hey miss

A teacher. A prison guard. I used to think that was like oil and water. Like lightening and metal. Some days it is. Some days it's magic.
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One Response to What is in a Name

  1. megsprahl says:

    Wow . . . thanks for sharing the story. I enjoyed reading this. I wonder what my kids would come up with.

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