Siobhan – A common Irish girls name. Meaning: God is gracious. A famous actress named Siobhan was personified, as a woman who stood for all that was good about being Irish.

Paula Siobhan – this blog for me is more about my personal journey than anything. I named my blog after myself, and no this is not because I am narcissistic or vain but merely because it’s unique. Just like myself, and you see, I used to hate my middle name Siobhan. I was ashamed of it; I thought it was ugly and complicated. When I was in primary school and the teacher would call out our names I would make sure she didn’t say my middle name, or dread it if she did. When I so desperately wanted to fit in, it made me stand out, and that just wasn’t cool, so I would hide it. I always scoffed at my Mom for giving me such an ugly middle name, and she would say ‘Siobhan is a lovely name, I love it’. But no one understood it. Not the spelling, not the meaning, and not the beauty of it. So, naturally because no one understood it, I got made fun of for it; hence the hatred that grew for it. But why in the world would I hide my own name? Your name is your identity, your being, and your roots.

Finally, at the age of 20 I realized that loving yourself is all you have. You must embrace the scary, mangled, unfavorable bits about yourself, for you to truly love the better bits of yourself. By loving yourself, you are doing the hardest thing of all. Accepting yourself, all the good and all the bad. You are accepting things you can change, and things that you can’t change. It takes a lifetime to learn this, to master it, but if you work hard at it, it’ll happen.

So here we are now. I am 20 years old and I finally like my middle name. I embrace it. I finally realized it is my identity and its something to be proud of. I finally understood the magnificence of it, and why being unique is something to be embraced.

In conclusion, I named this blog after myself yes… but it represents so much more than that. I am finally proud of myself, of my roots, and I am willing to bear it in front of an audience. This represents growth. By embracing my individuality I have gained such an understanding for my mind, body and soul. I am now at peace with myself. I am now at peace with Siobhan.

‘So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other to yourself.’ – Alan Watts

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