Friday, July 20, 2012

Who Are You Really - Mike or Steve?

The answer is...both! My given name is Michael Steven Chavez.  Following tradition in my mother's family, I was called "Steve" - or "Stevie" - from birth by members of my family, including extended family and family friends.  Once I started kindergarten, things changed.  My teacher, while calling the roll, called out, "Chavez, Michael."  I dutifully raised my hand to indicate I was there and said, "Excuse, Mrs. Thompson, but even though my first name is Michael, everyone calls me by my middle name, Steve."  Mrs. Thompson informed that since my first name was Michael, that is what I would be called.  So, I got used to being Mike or Michael at school and Steve with family.  When I started working, it was with people with whom I was friends at school, so thus I was Mike at work now, too.

When Kathy and I got married, our guests were uncertain if they were at the right wedding.  My family saw gifts labeled for "Mike and Kathy" and our friends and Kathy's family saw gifts labeled for "Steve and Kathy."  Fortunately, everyone stayed and helped us celebrate.

I'm occasionally asked if I self-identify as Mike or Steve. In my innermost thoughts, I'm Steve.  Otherwise, I'm quite comfortable with either name.  I used both on my blog because I use both on Facebook.

Why Did I Title My Blog This Way?

For my inaugural post,  I’m going to deal with the name of this blog. 

The “wandering” part is a play on the notion of the “wandering Jew” of this Diaspora (not the plant of the same name, although I’ve been accused before of being in a vegetative state!). 
The Catholic part is self-explanatory – I, as is my wife, am a cradle Catholic, born and raised in that faith and in-bred with the notion that I can’t simply be a passive participant in weekly Mass – I have to do something within the Church, make a contribution, possibly make a difference.  For that, I can thank my late mother, who has been gone from this earth for 22 years. 
The “wondering” part is part of my basic personality, and informs my expression of Catholicism.  While I accept the Church’s teaching authority (magisterium), I still have the need to come to my own understanding of why the Church believes and acts as She does.  Through my own studies, I’ve come to a practical understanding of basic Catholic theology, and I try to share that with others, especially those engaged couples whom my wife and I help prepare to enter sacramental marriage. 
But I wonder about all kinds of things, and try to re-capture a child-like sense of wonder about things like flowers, sunsets, elderly couples holding hands, etc.  So this blog will be a set of random musings from me, with no particular theme or regularity, although my next post will be my exposition on Sacramental Marriage within the Catholic Church.  I hope someone, even one other person, joins me as I wander and wonder.