When I was born, my parents gave me the name Cynthia Lee Newberry.
I grew up as Cindy Newberry, the oldest of five. Those years at home–studying and fighting for the bathroom and following rules–were never going to end. I would never get to live my life. And then I was gone. I went to college. I liked to study and I did well.
For a few years, I was Cynthia Newberry McDowell, married to her high school sweetheart.
Then I was Cynthia Lee Newberry again.
When I worked as an attorney, I introduced myself as Cynthia. Who would hire an attorney named Cindy? When I first met my husband-to-be, I was introduced as Cynthia. After we had gone out a couple of times, I said, “Look, if this is going to go anywhere, you have to call me Cindy.”
I became Cynthia Newberry Martin.
Last January at a spa, at the beginning of a class on breathing, we went around the room and each person said her name. When it was my turn, I said my name was Cynthia Martin. And the instructor said, “Are you sure?”
My name is Cynthia Newberry Martin. I am a woman with family: parents and siblings, a husband and children, in-laws and grandchildren. I am a writer. And I am learning how to talk about myself. I am learning how to tell my story.