Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Name Is

…Kasmira. I blog under my actual name. If I had it to do all over again, I might use a pseudonym, for privacy and safety reasons, but that ship has sailed.

I was my parent’s firstborn, in the mid-70’s, and they liked Star Trek. In fact, they liked it so much that they intended to name me Mira, after Lt. Mira Romaine in The Lights of Zetar episode. However, before the big day arrived, they found Kasmira in a book of baby names and liked that better, Star Trek or not.

According to that much thumbed book of names, Kasmira means “commands peace.” I’ve found similar definitions on the internet and have also found the opposite meaning, “destroyer of peace,” listed. It is perhaps appropriate that I left the Marine Corps because I could not stomach our actions overseas. Kasmira also means “demands peace.”

Most people assume that my name is Indian because of its similarity to the word Kashmir. However, that tattered book of names (and the always reliable internet) list the name’s origin as Slavic. That narrows down the name’s location of origin to anywhere in Eastern Europe.

Kasmira is a big name to live up to. I remember the disappointment of my highschool guidance counselor upon meeting me. “I thought you’d be Indian,” she said. I was a let-down with my blue eyes, blond hair, and freckles.

Maybe it’s the name that inspired me to find my own path after becoming an adult. I was definitely weird as a kid (mostly due to growing up in a cult), but I got a lot weirder as an adult. I pursued interests because I was curious, not because my friends did it. I started ballet, I hunted mushrooms, I lived out of my car, I joined the Marine Corps. And finally, I started a style blog.

I don’t think people are disappointed anymore when they meet me.

23 comments:

Collette Osuna said...

Great post....love your name...I have a different first name too....and you are right...its hard sometimes:)
Way to find your own path I say!!!

Liz said...

I was very excited when I first read your blog because I had a good friend in high school with the same name. Growing up she had people call her Katie, in an attempt to have a "normal" name. Later on in high school we called her Kazi, she was also blonde haired and blue eyed, her grandparent had immigrated from the Czech Republic, so its definitely Slavic. To my knowledge no one ever expected her to be Indian, then again the town where we lived was 98% Caucasian!

maryeb said...

What an interesting post. I like to learn the meanings behind names too. It's interesting how people (including me) make assumptions about others based on things like a name, instead of just getting to know a person as they are. I've been trying really hard not to do this. It's quite unfair.

You are very brave to share so much. [I hope that's not an unfair assumption;)]

Your posts continue to inspire me in so many ways. Happy Blogaversary

CJ said...

This is beautiful. Thank you.

The Nightmare Child said...

You're just a pretty spiffy gal, to be honest.


And Kasmira is one of the most beautiful names I've ever heard. And bonus points for the Star Trek origins.

hillary said...

Ok you can't throw the word cult out and not make my nosy ass want to pry! :)
I went by Matilda online for years and years and only moved to Hillary a few years ago. But I keep my last name and where I work and such private.
Hillary was a soap opera actress who was popular and in a vitamin commercial in late 70s. My middle name is after a Star Wars character. No one believed me as a kid. My 14 year old uberfan uncle named me it.

DaShannon said...

Not disappointed. Those of us with unique first names expect other unique first namers to be well.... unique!

Michelle said...

I'd say it's your freckles that makes you mostly unique ... Us freckled fellows always seem to be creative, unique and leaders in some way or another. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about 'you' must have been a hard one to write :)

iminozz said...

I love your name. WTH, you grew up in a cult? Oh my..you must tell more.

Beth said...

>>I don’t think people are disappointed anymore when they meet me.

Because now we know you are weird and that is why we like you. :-) Well, also that you are weird in a really interesting & wonderful & beautiful way.

Beth

ismay said...

Slavic indeed. The Polish version is Kazimiera for a woman and Kazimierz for a man.

Yuri said...

Hi Kasmira,

I stumbled upon your blog today and I'm hooked!

I love how you write and, of course, your style ideas.

Keep it up! :)

Yuri xx
http://la-petite-ratatouille.blogspot.com/

Skygirl said...

Having a name that I'm pretty sure has never dropped out of the Top 20 Most Popular Names For Girls list in the history of keeping such lists (Sarah), I'm always a tad jealous of people with interesting & unique names.

J. le Roux said...

I love the fact you shared some of yourself with us, thank you. I commend you on your Marine choices, to join and to quit.....I too have had a struggle with my name..being Jennifer is pretty boring when there are 5 others in every class you take! I have actually been "Jeff" for about 20 years from "Jeffiner"I guess...I love your blog, I read it almost every day, but the best part is when I haven't read for a few days and I get to look at all your outfits all at once! I hope you never stop!

Sheila said...

I always like it when you do these little glimpses of your life on your blog (and of course, major teaser, a CULT?). It gives us readers a little insight into you, which makes your blog so much more than just a style blog.

Here's to fun first names! Mine (it's really Sheila) is one of those names that everyone knows but very few people actually have. I used to hate it, but now I love it.

The Cocoa Goddess said...

Yay for unusual names! I blogged under my own name for a brief period of time but had to move house when a guy I was dating felt weird about having to read synopses of our dates on my blog (the relationship didn't last very long!). I hated having an unusual first and last name throughout school but now that I'm older, I appreciate not being a Christina (which is what I told my mom I wanted to change my name to when I was 9).

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

I've often wondered, over the years, whether Kasmira was your real name. I love knowing that it really is. But surely Beefy's is not....

Kasmira said...

I grew up as Jehovah's Witness. It was kind of like growing up on Mars.

TJ said...

I enjoy your blog and check it frequently..you may have an issue with being raised one of Jehovah's Witnesses but they are not a cult. That was a cheap shot. The definition of a cult? It must have three elements: Usually live together in groups so that what the members do (read, eat, etc.) is controlled, (2) a charismatic and self-appointed leader with complete authority that always focuses attention and veneration of the members on himself or herself, and (3) a focus on withholding truth from nonmembers. NONE of these three elements exist with JW's in part or in totality. Be a free spirit and enjoy your choices; but it is petty and pathetic that you would refer to JW's in an untruthful way. JMHO.

Brittany D'Lynne said...

Thanks for sharing, Kasmira!! :)

Kristen said...

Hunh, I assumed your family ethnicity was Eastern European, from your name and your coloring (red or blond, LOL). Kasmira sounds pretty Polish/Czech to me! My family tree is littered with similar names. :)

Rail Writer Janet said...

From one former cult kid (although not JW)to another. . . you go girl!

Caren said...

Margaret Singer, expert in cults and author of "Cults in Our Midst" identifies 6 traits of a cult:
1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and the changes taking place.
2. Control the person's time, and, if possible, the physical environment.
3. Create a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, and dependency.
4. Suppress much of the person's old behavior and attitudes.
5. Instill new behavior and attitudes.
6. Put forth a closed system of logic; allow no real input or criticism.
The 3 characteristics cited by another commenter are from Robert Lifton. There are other lists of criteria as well.