Reverb 10: New Name.

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Let’s meet again, for the first time.

If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

~ Becca Wilcott

When I was younger I wished my name was Denise. For no reason at all, really, I just liked the name. It didn’t help that I thought my own name was a bore, un-sexy and sounded like an old lady trying to be cool. People were always calling me Diana or misspelling my name—Diane, Dianne, Dyan, Diann—and I just wanted something simple that people could get right.

Sitting here in my thirty-somethings, not much has changed. People still get my name wrong. I still get called Diana by anyone with even a remote Latin background. Telemarketers still call for Dionne. The name Dian still does not ring true as a sexy name to me. Diana, maybe. But not Dian.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

My thirty-somethings do have me realizing that someone spelling my name incorrectly isn’t a sign of disrespect, even if I’ve known him/her for years. Someone calling me Diana because they’re of Latin decent and don’t get why a woman’s name wouldn’t end in an “a” is fine with me, as well. When telemarketers ask for Dionne, I know to tell them: Sorry, no one here by that name.

When asked for the spelling of my name, I simply say, “Dian. D-I-A-N. Yup, no ‘E’. I’m a simple girl; I don’t need no stinking ‘E’.”

What I do and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

While I still love the name Denise, I recognize that it’s just not me. I named my last car Denise, and I may name the next one Denise, but I won’t be introducing myself as Denise anytime soon. After all, I’m Dian. You know … with no ‘E’.


In 2009, one of the coaching courses at CTI had us approach a coaching session as a superhero. We could choose which superhero we’d like to be, and we had to embody that hero through the coaching session. The exercise was about unlocking the superhero within—the superhero we secretly want to be, not necessarily the superhero we think we are.

After hemming and hawing, gut-wrenched over having to be a superhero at all, I finally settled on Wonder Woman. Quiet, confident strength—I had strength, what I wanted was confidence.

When it came my time to coach, I summoned my Wonder Woman within and introduced myself to my client just as she might introduce herself.

I stood tall, hands on hips cocked and loaded, ready for action. Chest broad, shoulders back. Head high, swagger swaggin’. It was an amazing session.

But not because I’d perpetrated Wonder Woman or her swagger. I had no magic lasso, no bullet-proof wrist bands, no invisible jet—I was no Wonder Woman. I was just … me. And all the parts within I would have to summon over and over and over again for the rest of my life.

What ended up being amazing about that session wasn’t about Wonder Woman, the character, but about my own inner Wonder Woman. And the recognition that I had access to her whenever I wanted.

I just had to be me.

What I’m stepping into this year is taking the learning from myself on that day and all my daily/weekly/monthly/yearly Wonder Woman moments, and putting that learning to use. There’s no sense in summoning my inner Wonder Woman if I’m just going to hide her from the rest of the world on the outside.

This year as I continue to summon my powers of Wonder Woman, I’ll be conscious of steering clear of the superhero-Lynda-Carter-version, and demanding the authenticity-driven-Dian-Reid-version. I don’t need no bullet proof wrist bands or magic lasso or invisible plane—actually, an invisible plane would be super great—and I definitely don’t need no stinking ‘E’.

I just need me. And maybe you.

This post is written as Day 23 of Reverb 10, inspired and created by Gwen Bell (Best of ’09) and her rockingly awesome cohorts. Are you reverbing too? I’d love for you to share yourself in the comments below.

Wonder Woman image borrowed from adannews, although no source is cited there.

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