At the beginning of last year I thought I’d give my old name a try, just to see whether it would fit and if I’d banished the sad feelings that went along with it. So without making a song and dance about it, without an announcement or asking to be called something different, I started to call myself Andrew. I changed my social media profiles, my email signatures and my user-account names. I began calling myself Andrew on conference biographies and finally in November I changed my name on this, our company site.
So how’s the whole being called Andrew thing working out?
My friends still call me Andy. I don’t mind that at all.
At home my wife calls me Andy, just like she has for the last twenty-five years. I don’t expect, nor do I want that to change. In fact, we haven’t discussed it, despite the fact that I’ve changed the name on my Apple account which shows up when we FaceTime, our Apple TV and the iTunes library we share.
Only a couple of times have I been asked which name I prefer; Once at a client meeting and the other by the organiser of a conference where I’ve spoken many times before as Andy. (The answer is, by the way, either.)
You’ll find me on Google by searching for Andy Clarke, not Andrew Clarke.
People who’ve followed me for a while or know me because of my books or speaking mostly call me Andy too, although I do see people I’m not familiar with now calling me Andrew on Twitter and in blog posts that reference something I’ve written. It’s fascinating actually. Just this week I’ve been working with a client team where two people have known of me for a while (they have Hardboiled Web Design on their shelf) and they call me Andy. But another team member calls me Andrew because he hasn’t known me as anything else.
What about me? How to I feel now when someone calls me Andrew? Does it make me feel uncomfortable, like it used to? No.
Do I feel sad when I hear it, like I used to? No.
Have I got used to being called Andrew? No.
I’m conscious of it every single time I hear someone say it. It sounds strange, almost like people are talking about someone else.
I wonder how long that feeling will last?