I don’t really place too much importance on names, but really… it’s a kind of your personal brand. It also usually has a lot of baggage. Most of us didn’t get to choose our names at all. OK, maybe when you get married… but we didn’t go that route. (Aside: I really enjoyed the bit from “Parks and Recreation” when Ben suggested Leslie take his name. Finally, TV showing my side of the story!)
Alright… so I don’t think about my name until it bugs me. This week it’s especially on my mind because my Uncle Jon passed away this week, so we’ve been going through family stuff. It’s also been coming up because I was named one of SLA‘s Rising Stars this year. So my name is getting out there, like this interview for my work’s website. (I washed my hair for that.)
My name is Kendra K. Levine. That’s what I go by. Most people seem concerned with how I choose to pronounce Levine. Here’s the truth – I don’t care. People in my family go by both “Luh-vine” and “Luh-veen”. I swap and say both. So really, either one is fine with me.
The K. That’s the thing. Using middle initials is sort of an odd thing. Not super common, though not that uncommon. I usually feel a little ridiculous insisting that the K be there, but then I realized that it’s my name. So I’m Kendra K. Levine.
The K stands for Klepic, which is my mom’s last name. Note – not maiden name, last name. It’s not uncommon now to have this situation, but my parents kept their names and this is how I got a middle name that people usually raise an eyebrow at. It’s not exciting or weird.
When I was in highschool I thought about changing my name to Kendra Klepic, but my dad was miffed for the obvious reasons. Instead, I used “K. Klepic” as my online pseudonym for a long time, in the spirit of C. Sterling. As soon as I started meeting people from the internet in 1999, “Kendra K” became my name which I’ve used ever since. See?
So basically this is a long winded thing to say, the K matters to me. That’s how I, and therefore you, write my name. Thanks!