Zero to Hero Day 2: I Used to Hate My Middle Name

Day 2: What’s Your Name?

Yes, I already have an about section, but now I’ve told myself I’m doing this whole challenge thing, so here I am again.

When I was younger my middle name frustrated me. It was so manly. I couldn’t spell it. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why my parents would assign such a wretched name to me. Fitzgerald. Fitz-gare-uld. The sound of it was revolting. I’ll never forget in grade school when I had an art assignment that involved writing my name. Afterwards Sammy noticed I spelled my middle name wrong and he laughed at me. “You can’t even spell your name?” It was so complicated! All those letters!

And my mom would tell me, your Great Great Uncle, your Great Grandmother’s older brother, your Grandmother’s Uncle, My Great Uncle, is an American Treasure.

Who was this man? Who cared? I was a girl! Other girl’s middle names were Lauren or Marie or even Anne. And here I am with this heap of letters.

So he wrote a book. Great. Books terrified me. I was convinced I was never going to be smart enough to understand books. What I was reading never seemed to be what other people were reading. Yes we had the same book, but it was as if they were getting completely different messages than I.

Eventually I understood. F. Scott Fitzgerald. His little sister Annabel married Clifton F. Sprague and had my grandmother Courtney Sprague who eventually married Daniel Vaughan, and then had my mother Laurie Vaughan, who married Stuart Douglas Campbell and here I stand, the youngest of four children, Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell.

Once I made it to high school I avoided AP English. I still found myself on a lower level than everyone else. We read The Great Gatsby junior year and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t believe it. I was named after this guy. This guy who was an American Treasure. My middle name quickly became my favorite part of myself.

So I was sent off to college and of course, I became a writer. Every paper I wrote was pages longer than it should have been. People started to tell me I was good at this thing, writing. I still don’t believe them, but I know it’s what makes me happy.

So there it is, there’s the name. I don’t think that answered the Day 2 challenge really, but at least you learned something if you made it to the end of this. 




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