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behind the name - with Tara Sea {owner of the name nest}

Gold Coast, Australia

my name is Tara Sea (Sea is my artist name) and I am the mother, wife and artist behind the name nest. it all started with a name journey, the journey of naming my own daughters, that grew and bloomed into what is now the name nest.

over the years I have shared my name journey in candid interviews and Podcast interviews. Today I had a strong feeling that came over me, I need to create my own space to share not only my name journey's, but those of other mothers from around the world. To help inspire and encourage other women.

I want to create a space that is nurturing, uplifting, raw, real and honest, where we can be vulnerable, creative and most importantly, ourselves. To share our 'behind the name' journey when deciding on our child's forever name and how they came to be.

My own journey started with my first daughter, Isla May, who was born in 2014. For me, a name was a very special and sacred decision and one that I felt very connected too. I had very strong feelings about Isla coming even before she was conceived. I had a dream about finding out I was pregnant with her only days after her conception, where she told me the month she would be born. During my pregnancy she would come to me in dreams, as a beautiful brown horse. She was born in the year of the Horse and the element for her year was wood. Naming her was a process and when looking at names during my pregnancy the meanings were very important. I decided early on that I would like a 4 letter name as my husband and I both have 4 letter names.

I came across the name Isla on a few occasions during my pregnancy, at the time the name was very uncommon and I had not heard of it being used before, except for actress Isla Fisher. I had seen her name on a magazine and remember feeling like it resonated with me. Upon researching the name meaning I saw that it was Gaelic and Scottish in origin and meant 'Island'. As a girl and growing up, I was so in love with all this tropical and Islands, my bedroom was an oasis, even with a mural I had painted on my wall of a big window opening out onto an island. It felt perfect for her and I had fallen in love with it.

Her middle name May was something I wanted to use from the beginning, as she had told me in my dream about being pregnant she would be born in May. It was also a family name on my husband's side and so I felt it would be perfect for her. She is her name completely and I am still in love with it.

When it came to naming my second daughter in 2017, there was a completely different naming journey that took place. For me, it became a very important decision that I placed on myself and my husband, for having loved my first name choice for Isla, I wanted a name that felt the same way. Throughout my whole pregnancy, I researched so many names. I would hire books on my lunch break from the local library and scour the pages. I would stay up late at night googling and looking through Pinterest and Instagram for ideas. I had thought I would like a 4 letter name as well and once we found out it was another girl, my naming journey became even more uphill. I just could not find a name that spoke to me, gave me feelings as though I knew it was her name. I felt that there was a huge gap in the naming market for a place that would show me all the unique and rare names all in one place. That I would easily find all of the common, popular and traditional names, however struggled to find ones that had not been as readily used.

During my pregnancy my daughter had began calling my bump Rosie, which was a name option for her, however it was not something that my husband and I agreed on.

I also loved the name Imey for her, deciding that if we did not use the name Rosie or Rosy, we could use the middle name Rose so that she would always have a part of the special name gifted to her by her big sister Isla. Imey Rose was a name I had started to fall in love with at the end of my pregnancy. However it did not resonate with my husband as much. As I had such a strong say in the naming of Isla, I wanted to also ensure we both chose a name to gift to our second daughter.

After she was born we had a list of names but nothing seemed to feel right, or there was not a name that we could agree on. After day 3 without a name, and much pressure to choose something, my husband came across the name Aubrey. I thought it sounded pretty and we decided to gift this name to her. Aubrey Rose was her name and after only a few weeks I was really struggling. I look back now and can see that for me it was name regret, however at the time it was such a huge range of emotions. I also felt at the time so much guilt for feeling the way that I did, and also feeling ashamed and wanting to hide my emotions. I found that name regret was not something anyone talked about and this made it very difficult for me at the time.

I would not call her by her name, instead referring to her as baby. I felt a deep emotional wound for a name that I have gifted to her when I was not completely connected to it. I had not imagined that I would ever have a daughter named Aubrey, that it was also not 4 letters and that it was not a name that I had loved the way it had felt with Isla. months and months passed and I had spoken to my husband about changing her name, but he really liked it and people were used to her name by that point.

I think for me the turning point was when I finally looked up the meaning for her name (after all the research I had done on names, I had actually never searched up Aubrey's meaning) and it was Norman and Viking in origin and meant 'Elf leader'. I had a thought then that perhaps she had chosen her name, that although it was not the name journey I had imagined I would have with her name, that maybe she and the universe had other plans. I had began to accept her name, which she also affectionately was gifted the nickname 'Aubrey Strawberry' by her big sister and was now being called this instead. She was her name in every way, she looked like an Aubrey Rose and I had to allow my feelings to wash away and trust in this. She was now around 8 months of age and I was only just starting to accept her forever name.

It was during this transition time that I was out on a walk in the later afternoon summer sun with my daughters that an idea came to me while thinking back on my name journey with Aubrey. If only I had somewhere to go while I was pregnant with her that had unique, rare and special names all in one place. a place to go for inspiration where a name was not defined by gender, alphabetical order or on a page with a mass of names and letters. very shortly after this thought a word came into my mind 'name nest' and the name nest was conceived.

I now know that my name journey with Aubrey Rose happened exactly the way it was meant to happen. Not all name journeys are joyful, fun and easy. Sometimes we can experience a huge range of emotions, we can become obsessive at times, we can lose sleep, we can cry and mourn names that we did not get to choose, we can have feelings of uncertainty and also regret. But as with all journeys in life, sometimes the most beautiful are not the easy ones. Sometimes the beauty comes from the hard times, making them all the more special and meaningful.

For me, it was Aubrey who inspired the name nest journey, leading me to my souls work and also allowing me to become the artist I always knew i would be. and as they say the rest is history.

I hope you enjoyed reading my name journey and I can not wait to bring you more stories, from women around the world in my new Blog post series 'behind the name'.

much love, Tara Sea x (owner, artist and creator of the name nest)

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