I know that a lot of people think I’m being overly formal by signing my emails “Anne S. Cross,” or including my middle name in my tumblr and instagram names.
The original Annie Strachan was my Scottish great-grandmother. She came to the US from Arbroath, Scotland with three kids, a baby on the way, and a drunk of a husband. When they settled in Chicago she had to take a job cleaning offices at night to support her family. She died of cancer when my grandpa was a teenager.
I like that I’m her namesake. I like to think I’m as tough as her. And, for me, using the “S” or “Strachan” is an acknowledgement of how my family, and my family’s history, is absolutely essential to my identity. That’s all.