The Story of My Name

 My name is Jon Lindley. To you reading this text, it may be easy to pronounce and understand it. But when people ask my name, I tell them twice. My first response on saying my name seems unclear to them, and they ask me to repeat it. Sometimes, twice isn’t enough, and they tend to look at my ID to make the last try. And they get it. Some say my name is unique, never heard of such until I came. Ask my mom and she would second the motion.

 I was the first-born among four children in our family, and being the first, it arouses full excitement among parents that is why days before my conception, they were already bothered on what name to give me. My mom wanted to have a two-word name for me, and being systematic, she began to think of the first part. She rummaged through a lot of references – from magazines, journals, newspapers, a baby book, to a Xeroxed book about getting pregnant – and found a three-letter word that suited her taste, Jon.

 Among all other names on her references, what made her take Jon was because it is somehow attached to her name, Jocelyn, whose first two letters are the same. It may be short and tiny, but I share the same name to a great Hollywood actor, Jon Voight. Jon Voight is an American film and television actor who came into prominence at the end of the 1960’s that made him win awards, such as in the Oscars. More than this, he takes pride on the reputation of his family. He is the brother of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor and geologist Barry Voight, and the father of likewise famous actors James Haven and Angelina Jolie. I wonder if I would be like him someday, may be not as an actor but as popular as he is.

 Unique as it may be, I was still curious, so I asked why my parents chose Jon instead of the common name John, at least I would know why they adhered to the purpose of selecting the oddest names. There was an instance, my mom told me, that she was accused of being involved in an estafa case by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). This was a shock to her and she knew by heart that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. The investigation for truth went on and they found out that it was a wrong accusation, for the real person actually had entirely the same name as her, Jocelyn C. Agustin. That goes the explanation and NBI felt sorry for this. Well, I was also happy that they stuck to their rightful job and did not anymore campaign for choosing a unique name for newborns.

 Furthermore, although this was outside my parents’ minds but I Googled the name Jon, and found that it is an Israeli name which means, “God is gracious.”

 Now we go to the second word of my name, the more exceptional one, Lindley. I didn’t know why my mom is always embedded on my name’s history, and this time, it would start from her once again. She used to work as an insurance agent in the National Power Corporation (NPC) whose relations reached overseas especially in Great Britain. They were then in communication with a client from London, and the insurance papers containing policies and other stuff had this signatory who had a name Lindley. She was pregnant to me them and the name captivated her, but had this hint that it may be a girl’s name. Lucky for her, it wasn’t and she took it right away as my second name. Lindley is an English name meaning ‘pasture’, near to what my mom told me, that Lindley means meadow. Pasture only gave it a stronger sense than meadow for it sounds lighter and gentler.

The sparkle of my curiosity also urged me to look for people with the same name as me, Jon Lindley, from the web’s most popular People searches to see if I had a famous counterpart. I got results of people from countries like the US, Iran, England, and Germany, but none from the Philippines. Famous people? I found none with exactly the same name as me but found two people using ‘John Lindley’ as the search key, nonetheless they are proximate to my name. One John Lindley is a cinematographer in America, and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) whose works include the movies Pleasantville in 1998, Catch and Release in 2006, and Legion to be released this year. The other famous John Lindley was an English botanist.

 We are four children in the family, and being a huge number as that, a name shall keep us bounded together. My parents always have maintained that ‘L’ initial to our second names. My siblings were named Denisse Lauren, Kurt Leighton, and Geriel Louis. Delightful, isn’t it?

 Getting the history, or the etymology, of a name is a relieving past-time, more often than not, a real form of relaxation. One would even get shocked when her figures out that what his name means is exactly the same as who he is. This is partly true for me. I may say it several times to others but I take pride that my name has travelled a long way through time, through different people, through piles of baby books and through tabs of web pages before reaching my fingertips.

 I truly love my name!


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