The name game

This month, I decided to embark upon the reread of a book that had a tremendous impact on my life and mindset about five years ago. “Unveiling the Diva Mystique” by Michelle McKinney Hammond is one I would sincerely recommend for any woman looking to gain a different perspective on claiming your destiny and seeing the big picture in life. 

I sat down with a hot cup of green tea and got cozy with my U of L blanket, ready for my scheduled hour of reading. This time around, I couldn’t get past the first chapter. I highlighted, circled and wrote in the margins, but I needed to do some major research and reflection. This first chapter, “What’s in a Name,” discusses the meaning of names and how often your name or title supersedes you in the flesh. Your name may often create opinions in the minds of others about the type of people you and your family are or may become in the future. Hammond notes, “A name serves as the statement of your profession, a prophecy on who or what you would become. Literally in a true sense, you are your name.” Historically, one’s last name told the world something; it could signify one’s occupation, nickname, the region of the world from which the family came, lineage and more.

I suggest that, even today, names matter. In a time when parents often seek unique ways to name and identify their children, it’s important that we take the time to think about and research the meaning of the names assigned to our children and consider what that name relays to others.   

This information led me to do a bit of research on my name, and I encourage you to do some research on yours after this read! 

“Ashley” means from an ash tree. In the Bible, the ash tree is noted as a fuel source and for carvings. Searching, I also found that “People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community and a need to work with others and to be appreciated. People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars and teachers.” Interesting! My middle name, Danielle, is a Hebrew name. It means “God is my judge.” Miller, one of the most common surnames, I knew was historically an occupational insignia describing a corn miller, or someone in charge of a mill. The name only became hereditary when a son followed his father into the same line of work.

As I looked back and forth at the two names assigned to me by my parents, I’ve been able to clearly see the meaning of my true purpose … a purpose that my life’s path has already begun to fulfill. Ash tree: God is my judge. Fuel source: teacher … scholar. This is what I’ve put together thus far. 

My life on this earth, as Ashley Danielle Miller was meant to impact those around me, to teach those around me.  From my work in women’s health care, to my scholarly pursuits, family, pageants and public service endeavors, this purpose guides me. My life, my triumphs and defeats, my tribulations and my story of success were meant to be a fuel source and a lesson to all who may cross my path or bear witness to the steps I’ve taken along the way. Along my journey, I am carving new pictures of what the future can and will be for women in general and women of color across this Commonwealth. Lastly, many may not like or agree with my steps or tactics to fulfill this purpose, my willingness to bear my soul to those I may be able to touch or help, but as my middle name is translated … God is my judge.

My goal is to truly live up to the name that I carry.

What’s in a name? So very very much… #NamesMeanSomething