Having A Unique Name
I came across an article once that rang true to a scenario that I've had to endure for 30 years and will continue 'til the day I die. Having a unique name.
My name is Tanee (pronounced like Renee, but with a "T"). It was given to me by my grandmother and godmother who found the name by flipping through some random magazine. I know nothing about my name in regards to its geological origins. I've been asked if it's French, it may well be. Someone told me my name was Russian. The one thing I do know is that Tanee is a variation of the name "Tanya".
Growing up, I hated my name (there are moments I still do). Upon introducing myself to people, the look of "What did you just say?", reads across their face. They butcher my name in every way and even though I correct them, they don't care enough to pronounce my name correctly. I have family, who 'til this day can't pronounce or spell my name correctly. Do you know how belittling that is? How disrespectful it feels for someone to just wave the pronunciation of a name off like its nothing? "Oh, well its close enough". No, it's not. By mispronouncing my name, you genuinely don't care. Which is why I didn't care to answer to "my name" during roll call in Junior High School.
I just sat quietly behind my desk, with my head in a book. Come teacher-parent night, she tells my mom I was disrespectful because I didn't answer to "my name". To my teacher's surprise, my mom asked: "How did you pronounce her name?" I love my mom!
As I got older, I started to appreciate my name more. I felt like Tigger. No one else had my name. I'm the only one. I also ended up having my own cheering section of friends and classmates that understood and assisted in the defense of my name pronunciation. During my Junior High School graduation, the speaker surprisingly said my name right on the first try before handing me my diploma. In unison, my classmates shouted "Finally!" Another proud moment was in High School, before handing my diploma, the speaker mispronounced my name and my classmates shouted "Its Tanee!" I honestly felt so proud.
For the first twenty years, I felt good about my name because no one else had it until I worked as a Customer Service Rep at college and I saw my name on the screen. It wasn't spelled the same, but I knew it was my name. The customer on the other end was surprised, just like me to hear our name, but I was bummed. Like, why did you have to have my name? Why?
What I will say is, the struggles that have come out of my name are what made me what I am. My personality is derived from how people have reacted to my name.
To read the original article: An Open Letter
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Just an introvert sharing her thoughts and interest with the world