Say my name, Say my name

¨Say my name, say my name, when no one is around you, say ´Baby, I love you´…¨

Okay, we don´t have to go that far, you just have to say my name. 

(stick around to the very end of this post and blast that song up!)

What is all this name ruckus about?

I love and adore my name. Of course, I do. It rocks. I barely met anyone with my name, I barely find any already personalized souvenirs my way, I also have a rocking last name and that makes my name even cooler. (side note: Whatever I say about my first name, my last name hops along on the same ride!)

Okay, we get the picture. Now, the amount of times I have had to pronounce my name, once and again, it is ridiculous. Not complaining, if you make me repeat it, it is because you want to learn it correctly and the best way that you can. Yup, I  hear you. And I love you for it. 

On the other hand, who else do we have? People who chop my name into little pieces or just the ones that don´t even give it the time of day. Yeah, those.

Because the simple act of introducing myself to random strangers has become something a bit of a mouth workout at times, let me explain this.

 

—-

Every since I could remember, I have noticed a pattern:

– What´s your name?

– Ariadna

– A… what?

– Aaariii—addd–na

– Ariana? Adriana? Say that again..

– Ari- ad- na

– Ariazna? Aridana? One more time...

—–

There wasn´t much I could do about this, it is something that just kept on happening and still does. This pattern continues up to the point where the person actually says my name right or just sticks with ¨A¨ or ¨Ari¨. Like if that was my actual name. It also depends on the time I am going to be knowing the person, somethings I am cool with it and if I  know that we won´t cross paths again, just let it be.  Most of the time I try my best to make them say it right. After all, it is my name. 

(On a side note:  I have been getting ¨Ari¨ from friends and family all my life…. it´s caring and all, I get it… I didn´t mind it growing up. Since I knew my name was a one-stop-show, I used to only say ¨Hi, my name is Ari.¨ Now, in all honesty… it has been quite a few years that I prefer Ariadna. Can´t do much about family… on the flip side, when I introduce myself I say: ¨Hi, my name is Ariadna!¨ and leave it like that)

I´ve become so used to it that I already know the different reactions that I might get, the random face expressions that range from ¨That is so hard to say!¨ to ¨Cool name!¨ or the occasional ¨Man, your parents must have wanted you to have a hard life with that name.¨  Yeah, I heard it all, I heard it many times.And I still can teach people how to say my name by various methods, true story. It all depends on the moment and occasion.

My name is not that hard to say, I even have changed it a bit to fit in English pronunciation. It has always been Ariadna, be that as it may, when I moved to the States as a kid, in all my worksheets I wrote Ariadne. Really, I have no idea how that started, it just did. And that is always how I introduced myself. Moving to a Spanish-speaking country, it was all natural to say Ariadna.  Now, people know me as both and it is a big part of me.

To keep things clear: I am at ease if people say my name wrong, with enough patience and smiles, they will get it anyhow… Anytime that it was said wrong, the things people have come up with have been quite funny or original. We all love a good laugh, so move on.

Now, back to those who don´t even bother: The amount of times that people don´t even try to say my name because they simply think it is fake or got irritated by it is impressive. You see, sometimes I come across some people who ask for my name and then shrug. Like if they heard a difficult word at a spelling bee or an exam and decided to skip it. Seriously, these people need a reality check. I am person, not a thing. On top of that, there are people who have the rudeness to ask ¨Do you have another name?¨  Dude, dudette, I may have nicknames and all, in spite of that, you have no reason to ask for another name.  I don´t go butchering up your name, do I?

These people don´t even listen to my name, they don´t really care nor bother saying it. At certain moments, I felt that it took the originality of my name to a whole other level. I actually had to deal with close-minded people who felt no need to even say my name right, just because I was an outsider. As flashy words me into my mind in rage, I just took a moment and repeated my name once more. And that was that. 

Reflecting on those moments I wonder how people dismiss others so quickly and why would they? How do hear a name and be all like –  nope, don´t even want to try, too difficult! – ? A name is a beautiful thing, it is who you are. It has always been you, it has always been with you. Everyone embraces their name and nourishes it their own way, whether you end up changing it or rocking it from the start, it is your name. 

This particular situation reminded me of Uzo Aduba… when she was younger she asked her mom to change her name because people thought it was too hard, her mom then replied: “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”

Granted, even I have some great difficulty pronouncing these hard names, I still give it a try. I get laughed at a lot because it just doesn´t come out at times, I still give it a go. Come on, they´re people.

From the last time something like this happened on, I stood up higher and stronger. I always say my name, I repeat it and that is that. You can mix it up, you can try to make it easier, you will eventually get it or not..a least, you tried, at least, you got it…. and I appreciate it. 

My name is my life. Seriously, I love it so much that my friends know that by giving me personalized gifts (the kinds that they had to go a specific store and had it done because my name is anywhere out there) lights up my world to the max. Who cares what the rest of the world says? I am not changing my name for anyone, I´d rather repeat it until you get it right. I always say it proudly. And with a clear smile on my face.

Have you ever had any difficulty with your name? If this story relates to you, let us know. And if you know anyone that it also relates to, let them know. We got cool names and go to embrace it! Share your story with us at #GoDoFly! Spread the love!

Ariadna Arredondo

(a.k.a:The Always Believer )

 

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