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?