Last week I visited family. While one of my best friends was talking to me, she said my name. My nephew, who’s 6, quickly corrected her. He informed her that she was saying my name wrong and proceeded to correct her.
“MEGhan. Not MAYgen,” he repeated.
My friend played along and tried to say my name correctly but each time she started talking to me again, he would pipe up that she was saying it wrong. This made me smile.
Eleven years ago, I had the exact same conversation with my husband’s brother, Mike (that says something about my maturity at the time, huh?).
“It’s MEGhan. MEG. Not MAYgen,” I would say over and over again.
“Right, that’s what I said,” he would counter.
As much as he tried, “Meghan” just wasn’t happening.
“I’m just gonna call you Red. It works,” he said, pointing at my strawberry blonde hair.
And thus, Red was born. Many people at the time didn’t know me as anything other than Red. I was introduced as Red and answered to Red. I never thought twice about it.
When Mike passed away suddenly, being known as Red faded. It became a fondness that I looked back on and a memory that I would never forget. I still treasure the nickname because it represents a time in my life when I was fearless and free. It is a moment in time that I have captured and that reminds me to be me.
I told my husband during our family visit that I wanted to start a blog to discuss my journey but couldn’t decide on a name; an identity. I tossed around a few ideas, all of which had “Red” in it. My husband didn’t even hesitate.
“Red Phoenix. You are going to rise up and beat this. This is you.” He said as we drove. I smiled.
It was perfect.
Just as Red holds special meaning to me from a decade ago, so will Phoenix in time. It represents the person that I am now and the person that I will be.
I will rise up from this.
I will conquer this.
I am Red Phoenix.