Bobby TBD slowly being determined
Who am I? What am I? Where do I come from? What makes me… me? What are my passions? Why don’t I know these things? These are all questions that sparked the slightly controversial social media and internet based persona Bobby TBD.
Months ago I had to face a pivotal point in my life where everything I knew was uprooted forcing me to start my life over from what felt like square one. When faced with this curve ball in my life I realized that I had completely given my life away, lost my passions and my feelings and myself over the past eight years. I don’t even have my own last name. I took the last name of my ex when we got married and my first name and middle name are names that have been passed down from father to son in my family. At points along this confused and mind numbing path I have been on I have felt like I wasn’t an individual. It’s felt as if I have never been independent.
You see, I was born Bobby William Whetsell III. I was named after my grandfather and father. Obviously, I know the name I was given at birth comes from them, but what does it mean? Do I want that to be my name now that I have this opportunity to change my name and start my life over? When asking myself these questions I realized that to find out who I am now, I need to understand my roots.
I’ve had varied ways of explaining where my name comes from. When I was in college my friends and I had a joke, which some gullible people would believe from time to time, that my name was Bobby because my parents could tell I was going to be ditzy from the moment I came into this world. We would joke that the second they saw me they decided I needed a simple name I couldn’t screw up. Bobby was decided on because it doesn’t get much more simple than a name with 5 letters, 3 of which are the same! Not even I could mess that up.
That’s obviously a joke we came up with one day, true to form over a round of cosmos while I bounced around a party like a gay Mary Poppins. In all seriousness though, Bobby is a first name I was given at birth and share with my grandfather and father, both of which went by Bob in their later years. Naming a boy after his father (and grandfather in this case) is a great way to honor someone who typically is one of the most influential and important people in a boy’s life from birth until death. Bobby itself means bright fame. I think that’s pretty fitting to my personality. I’m not famous, but I feel like it’s fitting for my airy and, what I like to think anyways, upbeat or bright personality.
I was further given the opportunity at birth to honor multiple generations of men in the Whetsell bloodline by being given the middle name of William. William means the determined protector. The name itself makes me feel like my family will always be there protecting me from the stones life may throw at me. I must also add that not only was I given this name after my father and grandfather, but it is a middle name that has been passed down from generation to generation throughout my family history. A second honor bestowed upon me from birth. I carry these two names as I follow in the huge footsteps of the men before me.
With that all in mind, and do be clear that I am very happy to carry on my father’s name, I’ve never been stuck on deciding what first or middle name to carry on. I’ll always stay Bobby William. Instead I was put in the place (mostly from my own doing and mistakes) of having to find a last name that completes me, defines who I am and where I come from. That’s when Hall popped into my consciousness.
Bobby William Hall (The original, the only, the independent).
Where does the last name Hall come from? No, it’s not random at all. Hall is the last name of my dad, well legally my step-dad (I should explain now for reading purposes I will be referring to my biological father as my father and my step-dad as my dad). As I had mentioned earlier, a father is one of the most influential people in a boy’s life. I was incredibly blessed in my life to not have just one father but two. I didn’t have the villain-ish step-parents growing up that are described as the antagonist in many a fairytale or Disney movie. In fact, it was completely the opposite for me. I had the best step-mother and step-father in the world.
That got me thinking. My dad has been a part of my life since before I can remember (I think he swished into being when I was about three-years-old). He dedicated himself to me, my sister and my mother and immediately became one of the most influential and important men in my life. Loving me with more heart than I think some biological fathers love their kids, I never went without in my life. I was truly blessed to have both men as father figures for me. My dad taught me morals, my work ethic and how to be a man (as did my father of course).
When I started looking into what my name should now be I couldn’t help but think that it would be nice if I could honor both men. That’s when I came up with Bobby William Hall (the first). A bit of everything I wanted in my name (defines me, my independence, my originality and my personality) and makes up 100% of what has shaped me into the man I am today.
Finding myself is still going to be an ongoing process, but I do know who I am. I am Bobby William Hall. I know where I come from and what has shaped me into me and most importantly I know who in my life has helped to mold and influence me for the better. I’m very proud to carry the names of both my father and my dad.
With that all said for the purposes of this blog I will keep the persona going of BobbyTBD.com, twitter @bobbytbd and email firstname.lastname@example.org for the time being.
Today’s song of the day to accompany this posting is Roots Before Branches by Room for Two.