Collette Williamson – Three B’s

Collette is my birth-given name. A name that carries a legacy from the three generations of Collette’s that came before me. A name that will one day be passed down to my daughter and hopefully passed onto hers. The name Collette carries such significance in my life because it was given to me by such strong and intelligent women before me. The name is unique and grounds me deep within my family ties, helping me stay connected to the Collette’s that came before me. Each name that was given to me throughout my life holds an anchor in my heart, that never lets me slip away from where I came from.

“Baby.” My first ever nickname. A name I grew to hate and eventually grew to love again. Baby always seemed cute and fitting until my friends started referring to me as that because they always heard my family do it. Once my friends understood that the name “Baby” was only to be used only by my family is when I grew to love it again. I saw it as a symbol of caring. Being the youngest of two boys and the first girl to enter the family, the name seemed fitting. I eventually grew to no longer be the baby of the family once my younger cousin was born, but the name always stuck. More specifically with my brothers. Growing up with two older brothers who always gave me a hard time, and always knew how to push my buttons was never easy, but when their sentence started with referring to me as “baby” I knew the teasing was coming from a place of love. My brothers struggled to fit the stereotype of “protective brothers” as we didn’t get along very well throughout my childhood, but I saw them referring to me as a “baby” as a sign that they care. Because that was sometimes hard to tell.

“Beautiful.” A name that warms my heart when I hear it. A name that was hand-picked by my dad. My dad and I’s relationship grew significantly over the past two years. Starting from being daddy’s little girl to now being best friends. I always had an extremely strong bond with my mom being that I am her only girl, and I always loved and appreciated my dad, we just struggled to find things in common. Over quarantine that changed dramatically. My dad and I had so much more in common than I had ever realized. I grew to see him in a different light. As my best friend and not just my father. We started staying up late making homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups, or working out together, we learned to make pasta from scratch and so much more. These were never things I knew my dad enjoyed so much and I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed them. These things grew our bond and ultimately shaped the way I viewed the name “beautiful.” I used to see the word “beautiful” as something I would respond to when it was called to me. But now I see it as something so much more. I see it as innocence, meaning no matter how old I get or how far I live, I will always be his little girl. I see it as love. This means when he calls me that he means it, he does see me as beautiful no matter what. I also see it as more than just the look of beauty. I see it as internal love, that it is not how I look from the outside, but the beauty from within.

“Bush.” A name that was given to me by my mom. My inspiration in life. The woman who handed down her very own name to me. The nickname “Bush” was given for the simple reason of being the bed hair I used to get when I was little. This nickname is slowly making its way into retirement. But when it is used it gives me a sense of nostalgia. My mom’s and I relationship is one of my favorite things in my life. She is my rock, my best friend, and my human diary. I will always be forever thankful that she has created an open line of communication and I think in the end that ultimately pulled us closer together. This name is something that reminds me of my childhood. Being at school so far away from her is not always easy but when my mom answers my phone call with a “hey bush” my childhood memories come flooding in. It reminds me of waking up on the weekends all sleepy, walking to my parent’s room to hear “Goodmorning bush” followed by some sleepy snuggles.            

These nicknames have shaped the person I am. The fact that I have a special unique name given to me by everyone in my family brings me joy because I value my family. It makes me feel more connected to them and helps me feel loved every day. A nickname might not be meaningful to many, but these names hold a very special place in my heart.                                                                                                         

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