Dora Jolene

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name?   TSA, substitute teachers, and doctors’ offices.

To you, my family, friends, colleagues, and most people that I’ve met prior to my extended Italian adventure, I’m Jolene.  Yet, TSA, substitute teachers, and the doctors’ offices insist on calling me by my first name, Dora. I really don’t like that!   There is no getting around it.  So, I began to get a little curious about this person named Dora…. More specifically Dora Jolene.  Both in one.

I truly love my name.  You see, people acknowledge my name by singing a few bars of Dolly Parton’s classic man stealing song brought back to pop culture by American Idol and Miley Cyrus.  And then I noticed that I would get a little snippy when I had to use my first name.   What is up with that? Dora the explorer is pretty cute!  But back in the day, dumb Dora was so dumb … (throwback to the Match Game of the 1970s). Basically, I had no intention of integrating this person into my regular life!   But … what if?  What if I made friends with Dora…  Jolene?

I’m named after my mom’s fun-loving, expressive, high-energy cousin. We called her Do-Do. Or Auntie Do-Do (with a long O sound!) She and my mom grew up in the small mining town of Clifton, Arizona, and were best of pals growing up.  Apparently, they were inseparable. Legend and small-town gossip had it that there was a bit of rift between them after my mom married and eventually settled in Scottsdale with my dad, Fenton, and my siblings, Rick and Lyn. So, when I came along, the timing was perfect for naming me after Dora to put all rumors aside. If there WAS a rift or something unsettled between the two women, it was definitely set aside. I can still remember Auntie Do-Do visiting … Hearing the endless chatter and laughter between them. And she had quite a laugh! Apparently,  “Jolene” was a name on a shoebox. Go figure!

Dora Jolene flows better than Jolene Dora, don’t you think?   

But I digress…  Today, as I board planes, I’m greeted as Dora… rather than by my last name… Easier phonics of course.  Doctors’ offices schedule Dora for treatments, exams, and prescriptions.  And substitute teachers would always take roll-call by calling out Dora! Dora! With classmates’ heads turning in wonder…???      

I began to get curious as to who this Dora was. What if I made up a persona that would match the name?  I certainly didn’t feel like she had a personality yet… nor a history. Why not have a little fun?  She has been along for the ride all these years. Quietly standing in front of Jolene.

Is she the protector?  The alter ego?  Is she persona outside the invisibility cloak of the middle child? Is she the written voice that I found again? 

The curious storyteller that seems to have fun getting lost and found?      

I am embracing all of her. She’s been here all this time, quietly waiting to share her insights and perspectives. We are finding out who she really is for the world and integrating her into my life and business. Stay tuned!

So, while Dora Jolene gives me a refreshed and curious voice today, I’ll still prefer to be called Jolene .. or if you must, or Dora Jolene. 

And it all began with a “What if…?”    Stay tuned!