For my birthday I decided I wanted to change pace and write a fun article. Here is my story as to how the heck I got my name. 🙂
Much like many facets of my existence, my name wasn’t a deliberate choice but rather a product of a whimsical moment. Upon my birth on March 12, I was bestowed with the name Joshua Daniel Meckel. However, this name never truly resonated with me. Numerous factors contributed to this disassociation, notably the persistent bullying I endured during my childhood and even into adulthood, all stemming from my given surname. The traumatic experiences associated with that name fostered a deep aversion within me. As time passed, I gradually became aware of just how little this name aligned with my authentic self. It was during this period that a transformation occurred, leading me to become Mr. Joshua Awesome. Let me tell you the intriguing story behind this transformation.
On October 25, 2018, I was driving back from Portland to Seattle with a woman I had known for only about two months. We had embarked on a friendly roadtrip to the Portland VegFest which turned into a romantic adventure, spending four delightful days in Portland. During the car ride, somewhere between the two cities, a significant moment occurred that would change my life forever. I was listening to Death Cab For Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” one of my all-time favorite love songs. On this particular day, it played a pivotal role in altering my destiny.
As the song played and I held hands with this new woman in my life, tears of joy began streaming down my face. This was an unusual experience for me, as I couldn’t recall shedding tears of happiness since I was very young. Crying had been a challenge for me, and I had gone years without shedding a single tear. However, on this fateful day, the tears flowed freely. As the song reached its third chorus, I felt as though I was granted a vision of my future, traveling the world and other adventures, with this woman beside me. When the song ended, in a split second, I turned to her and asked, “Will you marry me?”
The moment was so surreal, especially considering that a mere twenty minutes earlier, we had engaged in an in-depth conversation about marriage. I had expressed my disbelief in the institution of marriage and my personal vow to never get married. I believed that modern marriage, rooted in the historical intent of keeping women out of prostitution and off the streets, did not align with a healthy, love-based relationship. Yet, I must clarify that I am an avid romantic who adores love and romance. In fact, I used to work as a wedding DJ, and attending weddings always brings me immense joy.
So here I was, sitting in a car, hurtling towards Seattle at 70 mph, having just proposed to the first woman in my life. In that moment, I knew with absolute certainty that proposing was the right thing to do. While I continue to learn valuable lessons from that decision, I am sincerely grateful for how things unfolded even if some of the events caused immense pain. The woman beside me eagerly accepted my proposal, and we jumped into discussing how we would do marriage differently and in a more healthful manner than what we often had witnessed growing up. I have a vivid memory of capturing a video immediately after that unforgettable moment, where both of us were immersed in profound bliss.
Now, let’s delve into the name itself. Soon after the proposal, I noticed the word “AWESOME” in the sky. I exclaimed, “Does that say ‘AWESOME’?!” I repeated it a few times before fully comprehending what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the name of a Ford dealership in Chehalis, WA. The sight of this word left me utterly astonished, and I recall it being surrounded by clouds, or at least that’s how I remember it. Turning once again to my now-fiancée, I asked her, “Would you like to be known as Ms. Awesome?” Once more, she enthusiastically responded with a resounding yes.
I had always imagined that if I were to get married, we would create a new name together—a symbolic representation of our new life as a couple. Little did I know it would be a word as impactful as “awesome.” The weight and significance of the name were immense. I hadn’t considered all the consequences of choosing such a word. Having this name meant I had to push myself harder in life than ever before.
That’s one of the primary reasons I decided to keep the name, even though my marriage has come to an end. It serves as a constant reminder to strive for greatness. I can’t simply lounge on the couch and be complacent with my name. Every day, I am compelled to work diligently and embody the essence of “awesome,” both within myself and in how I impact others. This name has bestowed upon me beautiful gifts and challenges, and I continue to embrace and appreciate what the universe has provided. I eagerly anticipate what lies ahead on this remarkable journey.
Joshua F. Awesome