What Having an Unusual Name Taught Me

Patience… a lot of patience. Yes, sometimes at Starbucks it’s easier to be “Ann” and I periodically exercise that right. Most often people need some assistance (okay, a lot) with getting my name right. This includes spelling and pronunciation (REE-ANN-NIN). Even after saying each letter or syllable very slowly, it is often mistaken for another name or incorrect. This requires me reiterate the spelling/enunciation to ensure they’ve gotten it. Doing this over a culmination of twenty plus years, a girl can get tired! Patience, patience, patience.

To be polite. Some acquaintances, even after multiple corrections, will still call me Brianna or Rhianna. I often politely re-pronounce my name without making them feel silly. I have known people for months who still couldn’t quite grasp it – I gently remind them. I understand. I get it. This is no Sarah, Kelly, or Michelle situation. I am different.
There are still some hardcore Fleetwood Mac fans out there. I am often pleasantly surprised by those who know the song – especially younger folks. In Charleston, a twenty-something boutique employee was familiar with my name and the band. I was shocked! The song “Rhiannon” goes all the way back to 1975, yet still has a long and wide reach to many hearts all over the world. The lyrics are pretty lovely (go Google them right meow).

To embrace being different. To my mother’s dismay, as a young teenage girl I expressed interest to legally change my name. I think for a while I wanted to be “Gina.” Goodness gracious. After a while, I decided I would embrace my name and the fact I am interesting and not like everyone else. I could be like Cher or Madonna, no one even needs to know my last name! Kidding aside, embracing what makes me unique is something that came with maturity. There a couple billion people on the planet, but there is only one Rhiannon Karynn Carpenter!

Do you like your name? Why or why not?

11 thoughts on “What Having an Unusual Name Taught Me

  1. K.M. Sutton says:

    This made me laugh too! I think we all go through phases where we want a different name then the one we were born with. I remember wishing mine was Aleksandria or Katerina, something that was definitely grander when I was a child. ❤


  2. zaychishka says:

    This post has made me laugh also, it’s good you never followed through with Becoming Gina, your name is beautiful! I’ve always wanted to change my name but then I remember I have a cousin who’s full name is “Geradina”, and my name doesn’t sound so bad after all lol.. It could’ve been me who was named Geradina. So I’ll stick with my name forever lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TheChattyIntrovert says:

    I have a somewhat tricky first name, and a REALLY tricky last name. My best friend’s the only one who’s called me “Tally” because she never quite got my first name, so it stuck.

    But I gotta admit, a tricky name means it’s easy to spot the telemarketers on the phone. They always fumble with it and when they mispronounce it, I can freely say “sorry, nobody lives here with that name” and hang up.

    But if they get it right, I know they took a moment to read it and give it an honest shot…so I’ll give ’em a few minutes of my time in thanks (hee hee)

    Liked by 1 person

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