A Rose(bud) by Any Other Name …

I go by a lot of names. Kim, Kimi, Kimberly, Kimi Joy, Timmy (the kiddos are the only ones who can get away with this) … I even have an aunt who calls me Kimbers. And it can be confusing for people I just meet — especially since each of my names has a different place in my life.

A little background: My parents wanted to name me Kimi. Not Kimberly. Just Kimi. That was to be my official birth certificate name. They decided, however, that I would one day need a more professional-sounding name. So, Kimberly I am. Kimberly Joy, to be exact. But, I’ve never been known in my family by that name. I always have been — and always will be — Kimi to my family members. In fact, the one time my dad called me “Kim” it confused the heck out of me.

Me and dad

The same Kimi today as I was then — and always happy to be in my dad's arms.

My close friends  — particularly those who have known me for a long time — call me Kimi. Though, for a while, I didn’t like “Kimi” — I mean, remember Kimmy Gibbler? So for a while I tried on “Kim.” And it stuck through junior high — for some. In high school I tried “Kimberly.” Yeah, that one never stuck. It’s just too … long and a little impersonal for me.

Today, a majority of people outside of my close circle of friends and family call me Kim. And it works. All of my bylines, professional memberships, business cards and masthead listings say Kimberly. But those I love and those who have an important place in my life call me Kimi.

Yes, I realize that I’m 30 years old and “Kimi” may make me seem more like this girl:

me at 6

Than this girl:

old me

I don’t care. It makes me happy.

To summarize — mainly because I love bulleted lists:

  • Professional contacts: Kimberly
  • Friends, casual acquaintances and people uncomfortable with calling an adult “Kimi”: Kim
  • Family, close friends and those who are important to me: Kimi

So, if you’re wondering what to call me, give Kimi a shot — if I correct you or introduce myself as Kim, let’s go with Kim. If you call me Kimi and it sticks, that means I like ya. Just make sure you spell it right. Kimmie, Kimmy, Kimie — never acceptable, thankyouverymuch.

And yeah, in case you haven’t noticed, I love my middle name so very much. It’s as important to my identity as my first name.

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