Christina Truong

camera icon Photo by Oliver Thomas Klein

My Name is My Name!

18 May 2016

Also posted on Medium

The Wire meme of Marlo

Back in university, I didn’t have cable. It was either TV or internet and I chose the latter. So I didn’t watch The Wire until after it went off the air, when I got a job and a salary. After finally getting a chance to watch it, I could understand why it had such a following. The writers knew how to make me care about the characters like they were people I knew personally. I would tell myself, “I’ll just watch one more episode.” Then it would be 1am and I’m counting down how many hours of sleep I would get if I watched one more, even though I had to get up for work in the morning.

There are so many websites dedicated just to the many quotable lines (including my own, I’m thinking about The Wire because “My name is my name!” was one of those memorable lines that pop into my head when I think about running my business.

Over the last (almost) three months that I’ve been independent full-time, people would ask what my business name was and be somewhat confused when I tell them I’m just operating under my own name. I’ve had thoughts about whether using some kind of “business name” and saying “we” would make me seem more credible and professional. I see independent freelancers do this all the time!

But I’ve been working for other people and their business names for 10 years. So, what made me finally decide to make this jump? I wanted to stand on my own two feet, to own and get credit for all of my work and to not feel like I owed anybody anything. I want to make all of the decisions. I want to decide who to work with and more importantly, who not to work with. I want to feel like I’m getting as much as I’m giving.

I want to say what I want without someone telling me I should be nice, or I that I need to be more assertive. I don’t want to be told that I’m too gentle or that I’m not a leader. Or I should strive to be like that same tired stereotype I keep seeing over and over in tech. I want to be ME, damnit! All of me, not just the parts of me that fit into someone else’s narrative or “culture fit” requirements.

If I succeed, great. If I fail, at least I’ll know. So I’m continuing forward with the original plan. My name is my name and I’m sticking with it.

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