My mother told me that she knew I would be a math whiz, so she thought that Matthew, the tax collector, would be a fitting apostle to name me after. My middle name, Peter, also stemmed from similar religious beginnings. Some other names that were considered for me include Caroline, Erin, Erica, Anna, or Daniel. All of which, in my opinion are pretty average. Maybe my parents thought I was going to be an average guy? My surname, Terry, is English or Irish (according to Google) but my father has Russian and Polish heritage…so.. What does this say about me? Well, not much. I have come to realize that my name and ethnicity is not something that defines me too much as a person.
I guess I may never know if it was just coincidence that I turned out to love the world of math and the many applications it has. Perhaps the reason that stories behind names, etc., and heritage were not commonly discussed in my house is because many parents do not want to set expectations for their children. Heritage has never limited my potential, and I don’t think it should. I remember looking up the meaning of the name Matthew on google some 10 years ago, and thinking “God’s gift?”, that could mean anything!
Even my religious beginnings were never strict beliefs I was told to have. Although the bible is a rich story with mostly honorable motifs to learn from, I think the importance of attending mass declined when my parents felt we had grown to be virtuous people.
Some of the important things that I have inherited are:
– a personality that is a blend between a laid-back country-boy father and a NYC-raised mother with infinite wisdom.
– a life born in the United States with all the freedoms, opportunities, and thrills that entails.
– 21st century technology and access to information
These are the things I have inherited that probably have had the most impact on my life, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I could not be more thankful.