29 November 2010

Olive Tree Has An Identity Crisis

Did the title catch your eye? Good. I need everyone's opinion on this. All 313 of you, plus shy readers who don't follow or comment. I know this post is kind of long, but if you read any post on this blog to its end, I beseech you to read this one.

I started out in Bloggyland as a much younger and excessively paranoid person. My parents did not want me to post my own photo, etc. I blogged under the name Olive Tree, because my real name Olivia is roughly translated to mean such. {More on the topic of names.} Now, since I make a good deal of money online and the internet is essential to the growth of my career (not to mention the fact that via modeling, my face is kind of for sale anyway).

For a lot of my life, I hated my name. With a passion. I was always saying, There's too many Olivias or What do you mean, 'Olivia is such a pretty name', it's horrible! For a long time I went simply by Liv, then I exhausted a series of alternate names in the guise of middle names (my parents did not give me a legal middle name so I change it on a whim). Some of these names were truly horrendous — Ignia, for example, was a name I half-made up because I really liked igneous rocks in fifth grade. (Yuck, what was I thinking?) Others are more chill — Elisabeth, my mom's middle name, and Jane, my paternal grandmother's name, are two of my current favorites and provide a little spice between my rather exotic first name and very solid last name.

Now I actually love my name. I love the way it trips off the tongue, the many vowels. It's still a common name, but I feel like I am a very different Olivia than the others you may meet. I try to bring my own spice to my name through a vibrant personality.

I have a plethora of nicknames, of course. One of these is Olive Tree... but fewer and fewer of my friends refer to me as such. I've sort of ceased to be the Olive Tree who started a blog with high hopes and a crummy camera way back when. I've gone from the young girl called Olive Tree to the young woman named Olivia. In just a little bit under two years, I've matured into a very different person. Now I am a Liv when I am funky or a Livvie when I am sweet, but most often I am just Olivia. I'm an Olivia when I'm just me.

See what I mean by an identity crisis? Names are extremely important to me — both in their meaning literally and their meaning personally. Maybe it's brought on by my authorness (I spend literally hours deciding what to call even the most minor of characters), maybe not. I feel like I've always been intrigued by onomatology (the study of names), even as a little girl who couldn't decide what she wanted to be called.

That little girl is gone — or maybe not gone, per se, but rather retreated into the shadow of my real self. I'm no longer a Jane or an Elisabeth. I'm certainly no longer an Ignia. I'm a Liv or a Livvie to other people, perhaps, but to myself I am not an I or a me or a she or even an it. I'm Olivia. Plain and simple. My name has become my personality — or is it vice versa?

So now whenever I publish a post and see "by Olive Tree" at the bottom, I cringe. I feel that I am hiding behind a screen name instead of really being myself. I also feel that this name, while interesting, no longer describes me. For over a year I've been considering changing my Blogger name from "Olive Tree" to "Olivia".

And this, dear readers, is where you come in.

I am a rather disorganized person — one look at my room will tell you that, as you will find shampoo, jewelry, postcards, a bird cage, a dried horseshoe crab, and several different perfumes of varying loveliness in one square foot of my bureau. I despise lists designed to tell me what to do (unfortunately my mother loves these) and generally disregard my calendar. But when I need to get my thoughts down in writing and I'm crunched for time, I find myself with the momentary skill of listmaking.

Please take just a few moments to skim over these two short lists, and then cast your vote on the poll located in the sidebar. Many thanks. :)

beautiful name
true name
describes self better

already known as Olive Tree
may be other bloggers with same name

Personally, I want to be an Olivia. But will I confuse you, my dear readers? If I comment on your blogs as Olivia, will you scream and run in terror from the strange stalker who seems to have suddenly appeared?

The poll tells all.

And should you care to comment, it would be vastly appreciated.

Many blessings and warm wishes for your winter night, 


  1. I LOVE the name Olivia, it is so pretty. :) Congrats on NaNoWriMo!!!

  2. I really do love your real name. I admit it would be a little strange to see "Olivia" everywhere, but I'd get used to it. And it'd be nice to address you with your real name instead of "Olive Tree"...I voted for using "Olivia" in the poll :)

  3. I agree, Olivia is such a gorgeous name. I think it fits you very well. Thank you very much for posting this, Olivia.


  4. I personally really like Olive Tree. I think it's a fun name, and even though it's not your real name, it doesn't seem weird like when some bloggers use a fake name. However, Olivia is such a beautiful name. My, I guess I'm not much help...

  5. ooh... I love Olive Tree and Olivia! You could use both! I really dunno!

  6. Hi,
    I always liked the name Olivia, it's the only O name that I like. When I saw that your blogging name was Olive Tree, I thought it was a little unusual.

    Olivia fits you much better, and I think any other name would be odd for you. Olivia is a nice balance of sophisticated and funky, and I think that really suits you.

    I'm just throwing a suggestion out here by saying that you could add something to your name if you want to. To make you stand out from other blogger. Like a symbol or something.


  7. The first time you ever commented on my blog you said "Hi, my name's Olivia, but I like to go by Olive Tree ever since my friend told me that's what my name means" when you left me that comment and I stopped by your blog, I totally love it--and you! I've always felt like (and wanted to) call you Olivia, but you had your name as Olive Tree, so I always just called you that.

    I think that you really should change your name from Olive Tree to Olivia, because I like that one much better and I think it fits you perfectly.

    just be who you are and you'll reach the stars.


  8. I just love the name Olivia. So beautiful. It fits you really well, and if you really want it to be your username, I think you should go for it. :) But all your readers know you as Olive Tree, so that'll be a big transition for us.

    I say, go for Olivia. :)

  9. like igirl said, you could have your name as Ol!v!a, then the would be unique!

    just a suggestion,

  10. I do think Olivia suits you better and it's an awesome name, but I actually do know of a few bloggers already with the name, and Olive Tree is sort of what made you stick out here in the blogger world. I don't want to necessarily change your mind if you really want to change it, I just think Olive Tree makes you more unique. :)


  11. If you had to ask me, I'd stick with Olive Tree. I mean you've gone so far with Olive Tree, why give up on her now? So many people know you as Olive Tree, and maaaaaany people would try to take it—wether their name be Olivia or not. My opinion: Keep Olive Tree running hard.

  12. I'm torn. I think the name Olivia is beautiful, but I can't think of you as being anyone other than Olive Tree. I think it's a lovely nickname. I personally think that while Olivia is a beautiful name, it's pretty common, while Olive Tree is unique, it's only you.

    But this is only my opinion. In the end, it's your name, and it sounds like you're leaning towards Olivia. I'm going to vote for Olive Tree, but do whatever you want, girl!

    In Christ,
    Queen Lucy

  13. Personally, I love Olive Tree and think its so unique and cool - but if YOU want to be Olivia, do it!! You ARE Olivia....this blog is YOURS, and it should be for fun, not for cringing :D

    Hope I helped!



  14. I personally love the name Olivia. You should change your screen name. Like you said, you have blossomed from a young girl who was searching for an identity to a young woman who needs an identity pronto!

    I don't know you at all. Im sure that most of your readers don't know you personally either. That means you can create the person you want to be and show who you really are through words and pictures that you post.

    Follow your heart and listen to what God wants you to do. Maybe his answer to this is make up a new "middle name" and go by that for a while. Why names may show a persons face, it doesn't show their heart. Create yourself through your words and don't worry about the rest. God will take care of the rest.

    Psalms 39:7

  15. Your name is Olivia? You want to be Olivia? BE OLIVIA!! HOORAY! Hehehe, go for it. :)

  16. I've been thinking of changing my blogger screen name too (in fact I put up a poll on my own blog just a few days ago asking the same thing).

    I like how "Olive Tree" sort of sets you out from the rest, because it's unique and I doubt any other blogger has that same name. But change is good, and if Olivia is who you are... then be yourself.

  17. I think that Olivia suits you better. Yes, it may be a little confusing for people, but we will get used to it. I vote olivia. :)

  18. After I read this post, I instantly felt like calling you Olivia! And (don't take this the wrong way) I think you even LOOK like an Olivia! It's a beautiful name, and I vote that you go with it.
    Plus, having your real name is always better than a faux one. :)


  19. i think you should go with olivia, because obviously you like it better. and being you is what matters :)

    blessings always & forever,
    anna :)

  20. Oliva is lovely name - (you have been graced with wonderful nick names - yours truly was dubbed "Flop" for various reasons...)

    Olivia is very ladylike and suites you well. :)

    And your new blog design is the best I've seen yet!

  21. As other previous posters, you have a BEAUTIFUL name! Why not be called that on blogger instead of Olive Tree? I think you need to change it here on blogger. BTW, love your new look :D

    As for the other poster who said, you could use them both, that's a thought. I use both on blogger - Heather (Butterflygirlms) My screen name is a combination of my love for butterflies & the abbreviation of my state.

  22. I LOVE the name Olivia -- and it totally describes you. It IS your name, sweet friend. Wear it proudly, chica! :)

  23. Such a lovely post! I really like your name:)
    Thanks, OLIVIA!

  24. I've always really liked Olive Tree as a screen name, but Olivia is an absolutely beautiful name, and I voted for the change. Knowing you feel so strongly about it, I think you should go for it, no matter what us followers say :).

  25. Hi Olivia! ;-)
    I love the name Olivia, it's gorgeous. Go for it and change your blogger name to your real name! I think it would be more personal.
    God bless

  26. If it was me, I would comment and sign my posts as Olivia...though I still love olive Tree for the name of a blog or business :)

  27. Oh...and you're the ONLY Olivia that I know! It IS a lovely name :)

  28. I actually really like the name Olive Tree, but I know what you mean. Yeah, it would be pretty weird to see 'Olivia' at first, but I think I'd get used to it. =)

  29. Olive Tree/Olivia,
    I knew you as Olive Tree when I was 10 years old, I believe. I remember any picture of you would have your face with three black lines as eyes, a mouth, or a nose.
    Now you're free to show your face and your name. I'm 12 now, and you're 14. I wasn't allowed to show my face, but I convinced my parents to let me :)
    If you're Olivia, you're Olivia. There's no need to ask your blogger friends if you know yourself. And one more thing.

    Even when you didn't tell anyone, I always knew. It was obvious for me, as I know someone with the same name, and you used to say that your username was the meaning of your title. I just always knew...

    Yes, I always knew your name was Olivia.

  30. To me, blogging is about expressing yourself, not worrying about how many others might have the same name as you. I would say, embrace your name. You won't be known as just Olivia. People will know you as Olivia, the girl who has a way with words, or Olivia who can take crazy-good photos, or Olivia at HorseFeathers. Clearly you have a great appreciation for names, so seize it, all it means to you, and be Olivia.

  31. It will be confusing for about two weeks, but we'll live with it! :) So, I say, go with Olivia, I do love the name Olive tree, and I think you should still use it sometimes, but I'm voting Olivia :)

  32. I like Olive Tree. Thats who I've always known you as, and while Olivia is such a pretty name I love Olive Tree even more. I think it should be up to YOU though.

  33. Oliva! It's so gorgeous! Just like you!

    Do what you think will be the best!

    A "shy" reader... :P

  34. I love the name Olivia. I think you should go by the name, if you like it!

  35. Just do what ever you want! I never ask readers what they would think (not like I have many), because it's my name/ identity/ you know.

  36. I love the name Olivia! I always use it on my favorite characters in my stories.

  37. I love the name Olivia! I would certainly know who you were if you started going by 'Olivia'. ...Oh, and I think I should say that before I even knew your real name, I guessed it by looking at your screen name. :) LOL I've never really gone by screen names online, and even on the rare occasions that I did, the screen name I used had my name in it: autumnbreeze96. Wow... that brings back a whole lot of memories. I've used that ever since I was introduced to the World Wide Web. Anyway, I think you should totally start using 'Olivia'. I love the name, it's gorgeous. =D


  38. I know that you haven't heard from me in a while, but I just wanted to let you know that you were on my mind, dear friend! I would have been online more, but there has been a lot going on in my life lately... anyway, I digress.

    About this post. I've always thought of you as Olivia and I could never bring myself to call you Olive Tree. I've known you as Olivia since we started emailing a year ago (crazy, huh?). If I'm going to put in my two-cents worth, then I think that you should be Olivia. It's a beautiful name and it suits you.

    Love Always,
    Your friend,

    P.S. I'm having the same crisis: Cassie or Cassandra? *smiles*

  39. I've always thought you were more of an 'Olivia' than 'Olive Tree'.
    I vote that you be true to yourself and be Olivia!

  40. I really really like Olivia personally, it sounds so majestic and pretty. And just a tip from a fellow blogger- on your header quote about the Eskimos, you spelled because ""becuse", so I just wanted to point that out if you wanted to change it :)!

  41. NatureFreak: eep, changing that straight away!

    Everyone: Thanks so much for your input! It looks like most people would be fine with me going by Olivia, so look out... Here comes a name change.

  42. I know three other Olivias, but they all go by Livvi.

    I think you should change your name to "Olivia (A.K.A. Olive Tree)" or something like that. I hide my name in my blogger name* without revealing it, so I think something like that would be cool too.

    *my blogger name is Akire, and my real name is Akire spelled backwards.

  43. I love the name Olivia, but I like the name Olive Tree just on the blog. I think it makes you very unique, and when people see your comment they want to go check out your blog. Good luck!

  44. From one blogger to another...authenticity is contagious. I have been following your blog for some time and although I don't always comment, I admire your beauty, wisdom and artistic eye. It sounds to me as if you are becoming a woman...as such I believe Olivia is completely appropriate. I remember when I started my blog, I wondered if I should create an alias or just go with my name. Ultimately, I decided that if I ever did make it big in either blogging or photography, that I would want to known as Ashley, not some alias. My husband isn't always comfortable with it, but I'd like to think I have some common sense. I personally believe that the blogging world really embraces those who are true to themselves (including their name) so I fully support it. Just as long as you're not going anywhere...I think we can all rally around this! Have an awesome week.

  45. I prefer olive tree, its unique and sounds very pretty, i love the name Olivia though. For me it will be a little confusing at first, but i would get used to it if you kept it :)

  46. Just only one thing:
    -You should try this name which you feel better, you feel confident and in my opinion your name is the best to do this task as you have lots of followers and friend who write and comment here so as I said before your name the best.

    PD: Your blog is awesome since I see it I decided to be your follower , congrats.

  47. I like olivia, but you don't need my opinion. :P P.S Erm, I took those pics in your header. looser. :P :D

  48. Milo's Lane: Yes, you did... why does that make me a loser? Did I ever claim otherwise? *looks confused*

  49. Wow I'm really late in replying but I'm glad you went with Olivia. I don't think you've ever commented on my blog (just stating a fact, not complaining, I know you're busy and my blog isn't the type you normally read), but if you did it wouldn't confuse me. I identify people who leave comments by their profile pictures more often than their names. :)


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