“A name is more than just a noun, verb, or adjective. It is your life, your legacy, your journey, sacrifices, and everything you’ve worked hard for every day of your life as an adolescent, young adult and adult”- Christopher Jordan Dorner
I have hated my name since as long as I can remember. It clung to me like a useless weight of information which I was forced to disclose or identify myself with always. I did not like to be called by my name so it was a habit for me to come up with pet names at home. I would then insist my family and relatives to address me by new name. After a while, I would lose my fascination for the newly found name and continue my pursuit looking for more exotic names.
My Dad told me one day that they came up with my name from the first three letters of my Dad’s name and first two letters of my Mom’s name. Upon hearing this story, I was horrified. I couldn’t believe the carelessness my parents showed in naming me! How could they be so thoughtless? Couldn’t they just see how meaningless my name sounded to them when they first tasted my name on their tongue ? I was mad at my Dad and Mom.
My Mom was already out of our life at this point and I was left with my Dad to show the wrath.
I kept on bitching about the unfairness of my name and was so used to bringing it up to my Dad whenever I could. It lasted until my marriage and when I finally left him for good! Thinking back, I realize this internal (and sometimes external) feud against my name as an insanity which started from my childhood to teens and well over to my adult years.The artificiality that enveloped my name each and every time someone uses it to address me was unbearable…
It got worse when my Dad disclosed one more truth surrounding my ‘Naming Nightmare’. They actually picked a different name for me on the baptism day- ‘Nitasha’. Everybody adored this name and decided to have me called by it. Then, someone (my Dad still hasn’t told me Who. He has forgotten already. How convenient!) spoke up. In Bible, the name means ‘The Sad One’ and it is inauspicious to address the baby girl by this name.
Who the hell was this person? I still don’t know. Anyways, just like that, everything changed- I was imprinted forever with the name I would come to dislike for a long long time …
In school and University, I carried my name around like a dead weight. I strongly felt, my name and I have not even one thing in common- call us polar opposites.
I considered at one point, changing my name officially. But felt guilty since my Dad was an ardent advocate of my name and told me that ‘One’s name is the beautiful sound in One’s language’. He sincerely loved my name and told me that a day would come when I become truly proud of my name. My Dad just gets all emotional when we start this conversation around the nightmare I call ‘my name’. So, I decided against changing it and entertain Dad’s notions surrounding my name for the rest of my life. Well, that is something I can do, right?
I don’t know what I feel when it comes to dissecting feelings about my Name- embarrassment about the sheer meaninglessness of it?
or the weight of the artificiality that pulls me down when every time when someone address me?
May be it is the simple refusal to identify the oneness that I am supposed to feel with my name.
Years are flying by both of us- my name and I. Even though, I am not a happy camper, I have gotten used to it now. I hesitantly realize that my name certainly gives me an individuality and uniqueness. The rareness of my name in the ‘Popular Names Book Forever’ actually gives me an advantage of not getting lost in the similarly resonating name tags. I grudgingly began to actually like my name for the past few years now…
And one day like my Dad said, I may even become truly proud of my name….
I know the struggle to accept one’s own name is a rarity.
But what are some of the things that are closely associated with you personally that you find hard to digest and accept? Yet, there is no way to get rid of it? Ever felt like it before? I would like to hear all about it…