Alma's life

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Why the name "Alma" ?

15th October 2008

The people who know me well and who come across this site may wonder "Why the name Alma ?"

Well the truth is that "Alma" is not my birth name. I have a somewhat uncommon French first name which I do love, but which people seldom know how to pronounce, let alone remember how to spell ! Others have the urge to shorten it, and I have never liked my name to be shortened.

With this in mind and wanting to keep safe on the Internet, when I first started interacting with others online I decided not to use my birth name... after all an uncommon first French name added to an uncommon British surname does make my full name rather unique, and it would be very easy for anyone to find me online, if I chose to use them. And anyone who knows me knows I like to keep my privacy, and don't need a possible employer (or anyone else !) to be able to do a search on me.

Actually I just lied ! When I first started to use the Internet, the first thing I did was look for a Latin American chat room, because I wanted to practice my Latin American Spanish, and I did use my first name there for a short while. It was there that I was going to find the name "Alma" though !

I made a good friend through that chat room, who didn't speak any English, so we conversed only in Spanish. We loved talking about God and how to do God's work, and one day he told me I had a beautiful soul. The word for soul in Spanish is "alma". I had no knowledge of that word prior to this, but with it being similar to our French word for "soul", I knew what it meant when I read it on the screen.

But something happened at that time ! All of a sudden I really felt that name within, it didn't feel like a word to me but like a name that fitted like a glove. It felt right, even more right than my birth name. It was a name I totally identified with, and in an instant I felt that this was my spiritual name, without a doubt.

If I didn't happen to love my birth name and see it as a gift from my mother (I can never thank her enough for saving me from the name my father wanted to give me), I would even most likely have had my name legally changed to "Alma".

From that night on, I never used my birth name online, and have always been "Alma" to anyone who meets me online, and even when I later meet them in person.

And I truly don't mind if any of my family and old friends call me "Alma" either... most people who knew me before I started using the Internet now know me by both names.