Celebrating the Individual

I’ve never had a single souvenir with my name on it – at least not spelled correctly. No coffee mugs. No keychains. No shirts.

For one reason or another (I’ve never really asked), an extra “e” was thrown in my name right before the “y” making it one of the most misspelled names on the planet. I’m far from the only one with a unique spelling. Alongside the Jeremey’s with an extra “e” are hundreds of thousands of Jon’s missing the “h” and Kristin’s preferring the “i” to the “e”.

Despite how trivial it may seem, the small nuance in my name has been a part of more than a few decisions. I initially launched a site titled JDStrength to avoid using my first name. The rationale for avoiding a traditional FirstNameLastName.com was that it would be hard for visitors to find the site when they couldn’t spell my first name properly. I debated on using my first name in my Twitter handle for the exact same reason.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people ask why they couldn’t find me on Facebook or why I didn’t reply to their email (my address is jeremEypt@…I feel bad for anyone that has jeremypt@…). Hell, I even thought about buying the domain name JeremyDuVall.com and just redirecting it to this site.

Standing Out

I’m far from the only Jeremey with an extra “e”. There are likely thousands. However, I’ve never met another one myself yet. Rather than hiding that fact and trying to blend in, I’ve learned to celebrate a small difference that helps to make me unique.

There’s a strong drive for us to blend in. From grade school on, sticking out is usually seen as a negative thing. We dress similar to others and try to even adopt personality traits that allow us to blend into crowds and seem “normal”.

But, trying to be “normal” is ignoring one of the most important parts of being born – individuality.

Part of the beauty of the individual is just that – we’re all a bit different. Everyone has their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Those should be celebrated, not hidden. Sure, a particular spelling of a name is a small nuance. But, larger differences exist everywhere from large ears to unique personalities.

Embracing the “E”

Everyone has their own particular “e” of sorts. For some, it may be their love of comics. For others, it may be their fascination with books or computers. Whatever your own unique traits, I encourage you to celebrate and cherish them. From the minute you were born, those differences helped to form “you”. They’re important.

Rather than trying to blend in, take pride in your “e” whatever it may be.

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