Being a “Nell”

I have always really liked my name.  I like that it is unique – I hardly ever meet other Nell’s.  I like that it sounds sweet and kind of old-fashioned.  I like writing the double “L” in cursive.  But there are certain irritating things that go along with having the name “Nell”.  One, is that I always think people are saying my name when they are in fact saying “no” or “now”.   That’s annoying. Another, is that every single time my name is called for something (we’re talking roll call at school when I was younger to now, getting called from the waiting room to see the doctor), everyone always reads my name as “Neil”.  They think I’m a man named “Neil”.  And every time I have to clarify… “Nope… it’s Nell.  It’s me.  I’m a girl” as they look at me confused.  It never fails.  It even happens in emails. People read my name quickly and think I’m a man named “Neil” and address me accordingly.

That being said, I still love my name.  My mom told me she found the name “Nell” while reading a book about Eleanor Roosevelt when she was pregnant with me.  Eleanor’s father, whom she completely adored and who died rather young, called her by the nickname of “Little Nell”.  My mom fell in love with the name right then and there (I think my dad needed a little convincing) and I became “Nell”.

Last week I picked up an autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt.  I’ve been wanting to learn more about her for a while now, as I’ve heard she’s a rather extraordinary woman, as well as my namesake.  She’s also known for several quotes that resonate with me quite a bit:

  • “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
  • “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
  • “What one has to do usually can be done.”

And finally… my favorite:

  • “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Great advice – I need to follow it more.

So anyway, the reason this is on my mind is because I was lifted out of my grumpy mood last night with a random email from a twenty-year-old girl also named “Nell”.  She was searching for something on the internet and came across my blog and was so excited to learn about another “Nell” who is not sixty-seven years old and boring.  She grew up hating her name (an old person’s name) and hating being called “Neil” all the time!  Ha!  But she was excited to find another “hip and cool” Nell in the world.  I’m flattered.  Anyway, the email was super cute and made me laugh and cheered me up immediately.  So thanks Nell!  (If you’re reading).

Here is my photo from yesterday:

Photo 318 out of 365 – “Miniature Camera”

“Miniature Camera” – Settings: ISO 1600, f/3, 1/50 sec, 100mm macro lens
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16 thoughts on “Being a “Nell”

    • Well now I’ll have to read that. Must admit I had to look it up – but sounds fascinating. I have another old book I got at an antique shop called “Mistress Nell – A Merry Tale of a Merry Time” – will have to read that one too. 🙂

  1. I have to weigh in here too, Nell, because your name is beautiful! Old-fashioned yes but very pretty and unique as well. Also, for what it’s worth, I am always, _always_, referred to as Mr. Brian Skibo. It is a little frustrating but hey-ho.

  2. Nell is a fantastic name!! I understand your pain, too. My maiden name is Greenstone. Green Stone. Like the pretty stuff in New Zealand! I grew up reciting the following words: “That’s Green Stone, just like a mossy rock. Green Stone.” Ultimately I’d still have to spell it letter by letter anyway. As a side note: I think I’m addicted to your blog. Thank you for writing it and keeping us all entertained!

  3. The Nells of the world should stick together!! how fun to find another Nell with the same name problems!!
    I´m used to being called … whatever!! Hel, Ellen, Hellen, Eileen, Helene, my mother calls me Filomena, don´t ask me why!
    Beautiful photo!! I have a little camera like this!!

  4. My little granddaughter name is Nell and she turns 1 yr on the 28th December 2011
    although I did not like the name at first, I now love it, it is unique, and it suits her.
    I bet she will be the only Nell in her kindergarden class when she starts school.

    • I love hearing about little children named “Nell”. I hardly ever meet other Nells. As someone with that name – I will tell you that I have always loved my name. It is a little old-fashioned – and definitely unique – and I’ve always been grateful to have a name not a lot of other people have. I think your granddaughter will be happy with her name in life. 🙂 Oh -and my birthday is on Jan 2nd! So your granddaughter and I have a lot in common! Thanks for sharing Elizabeth. Nice to meet you.

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