My full name is Katelyn, but I’ve gone by Kate to some since I was eight and to everyone since I was thirteen.  That was until I started my job a year and a half ago.

I introduced myself to my training class as Kate, and I’ve always been Kate to them.  However, as the weeks went by, it started to make sense to go by Katelyn instead.  It’s because I’m listed in all employee directories as Katelyn.

I started identifying myself as Katelyn, just so it would be easier for everyone and result in less confusion.

I work for a large company spanning multiple sites.  If I get a call from someone outside the company and he or she only has my first name (which happens all the time, no matter how often I leave my last name), it takes long enough for my co-worker to figure out who this person is talking about.  If I identify myself as Kate, it will take forever.

So it makes sense to go by Katelyn.

But I’m not sure that I like it.

These days, outside of work, the only people who call me Katelyn are my parents or sister when they’re angry or aggravated with me.  I don’t identify with the name itself.  Whenever I speak to a client or vendor with my name, I always write down “Kaitlyn” or “Caitlin” — it’s like I’ve completely removed myself from the name!

And it’s starting to get on my nerves.  I internally wince whenever I say it.  That’s a bad thing, but it’s true!

(It goes back to when I was little.  My parents told me that they spelled my name the way they did so that I could easily go by “Kate” when I was older.  Always impatient to grow up as quickly as possible, by the age of eight, I interpreted their reasoning to mean that “Katelyn” was a babyish name, and I had to cut myself loose from it as soon as possible.)

So, even though it will cause a bit of confusion, I’ve decided to just be Kate at work from now on.  Most of my good friends at work call me Kate already.  It’s mostly my acquaintances who call me Katelyn, but there are some friends, too — and I should give them the, “Well, actually…” conversation.

My name is Kate!  Kate is retro, bold and sexy as hell!

And NOT Katie, either.  I’ve freaked out after being called Katie since I was little (unless it was a guy to whom I’m attracted, even just a little bit — then, I’m sorry to say, it feels sexy, but probably because of the familiarity a nickname he coins on his own entails).

I don’t hate my full name, and I don’t dislike it, either — I just don’t think it’s me.  I’m a Kate.