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What's in a Name: The Story of Crustacia Humdinger

As a kid, I hated my name. I mean, outright detested it. My schoolmates LOVED it. Teachers butchered it. Crustacia Humdinger. Hamgarten. Hi-I’m-a-gardener. Hamburger (thanks, Grandma!) Can you imagine the possibilities? There was no winning that war from the age of, oh, birth until now. I remember listening for the slight gasp/pause before my mumbled name during calls of roll, awards, graduations, doctors’ offices, or the principal’s office (you know, ahem, just visiting). I hated being different. I wanted to be a Jones. Or, heck even Boudreaux, Thibodeaux, or Cormier - all perfectly proper, palatable names in Southeast Texas where I grew up. Anything ≠ Heimgartner, as my lovely Swiss name made me quite the odd girl out in my small hometown. Well, that wasn't the only reason, but let's focus, people.

At 30 years old, I married for the first time, becoming Stacia Broderick. A fine Irish name from a fine Pennsylvania family (and I mean that truly, with utmost respect). I published my first book under this name, co-authoring the Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility with Michele Sliger in 2008. I was well on my way, career full steam ahead. Alas, the marriage did not last, but I noticed at the time that my betrothal to Google search results and Amazon as “Broderick’ would probably forever live on. Ah, the joys of crawlers and caching, I thought, as I considered going back to Hamgarten. I swore I would never marry again.

Until I did.

In 2010 I became Stacia Viscardi, wedding the man who I long ago thought would be my first and only (another story, another blog). I was determined to make it work, and thought that I’d never ever question or change my name again. I published the second book The Professional ScrumMaster’s Handbook in 2013 whilst speaking at conferences, moving back and forth to New Mexico within six months, and continuing to add to my lengthy client roster as a Viscardi.

Fast forward to today. About to legally return to my maiden name, my brain explodes just thinking about the social media implications. Again. Search engines, old blog posts, and Amazon, oh my! If I could go back in time, I'd advise the much-younger me to never change her good Swiss name. And I do get tired of explaining the ‘name journey’ as people pull me aside into quiet dark corners with questions like, “so I'm not trying to be nosey, but what happened?” I have to say that those inquisitions have always been polite, and honest, and since I live my life like an open book, I’m more than happy to answer politely and honestly: life.  Life happened. It happens to all of us. But truthfully it's not a topic I choose to open conversations. 

I created this website because I am tired of giving the Heisman to the name issue, so here it is, for all the world to see. I am tired of calling myself AgileEvolution - I am not it, it is not me. I am tired of social media still calling me by the wrong names. I am proud to return to Stacia Heimgartner, that quirky, dorky, inquisitive kid who questioned everything, designed kanban systems for emptying the dishwasher at home at eight years old, cried after reading Black Beauty (even after the 23rd time), who was thrown from horses too many times to count, and who still remains an innocent explorer of this life and all it has to offer. Quite the traveler with a healthy dose of wanderlust, my name of Heimgartner (literally “home gardener”) is the antithesis of my personality, but I’ve learned over time that it’s everything I never wanted. I’m happy to return to Crustacia Humdinger. I love her.

Here's to bringing all of the names into one central location for better version control and crawlability. ;) I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures with the world.

And girls, think very carefully about changing your name.

Of Cajun Navy and Agile....