I learned to write young. The first thing I learned to write was my name. Except for it really wasn’t my name. I didn’t know that then, but I always knew that it didn’t quite fit.
My adoptive name is ugly, clumsy, and hard to spell. When people hear it, they say “What?”. If someone sees my name before they meet me, they always tell me that they did not expect someone like me. Nobody ever gets it right. It is an ethnic name, from a heritage that is not mine. It is a name that I am ill suited to carry. It just does not fit me.
I have always hated it.
It never occurred to me that I had a name before I was given the one I bear until I saw my non-ID when I was in my early twenties. There it was, a pretty name, a name that would have made all the difference in how I was perceived. It suits me and I like it.
Later I found out my birth name (for lack of a better phrase) had a story. It’s a good story. I like that too.
Ever since I discovered my name I’ve always felt like it was really mine. I’s like to use it. But it is too late. I am forever that clumsy, ugly, hard to warm up to, name.
Why do I think that if I had my birth name I would have been more what I wanted to be? That even at this late date, it would just make me feel better?
A dear friend of mine changed her name late in life, just because she felt like it. She wasn’t adopted, she just wanted to be Mariah, instead of Mary Ann. It worked for her, she was a Mariah.
I just don’t know if I’m too far gone to be a Melanie.