When I was a kid, I hated my name. It felt so much like… a kid name. And I didn’t want to be a kid. I wanted to be a grown-up, and wanted a grown-up name. I was not sure what name sounded more like a grown-up name, but I just felt like mine was not, and I hated it.
My aunt Amelia used to come around me and sing in her rich, clear voice, “Que sera, sera / whatever will be, will be”. I suppose she sang that to me because it sort of had my name in it. But, it was because of her that I began to warm up to my name. At the same time, sometimes people would call me “Sarah, plain and tall” in reference to a book that I’ve never read, and that almost destroyed it for me. I didn’t want to be plain… and I sort of had no feelings about being tall until I was taller than all the boys and understood what that looked like in the conventional realm.
It was my mom, actually, that saved me from hating my name eventually. She told me that my dad named me when I was born, and knowing that, touched my soul, because it meant that my dad indeed did think about me and cared for me, which was not something I felt much, because he was not very expressive of his love toward me – in the way that I needed it anyway – when I was a child.
I also started enjoying my name when I enjoyed the thought of being a princess and the mother of many nations. But that didn’t come until Christ delivered me from Godlessness and my gender and sexuality issues.
When I was a teenager, people at my church would refer to me as Alejo Vela’s daughter, or Mary Vela’s daughter. I began to love my name more then, too. I didn’t want to be known because of my parents, I wanted to be known for me. I wanted to be known as an individual, and not just known as someone’s daughter. I wanted to be known as Sarah, and for that name to mean something good.
So, while I started off not liking my name, I certainly love it now. But, no, though I didn’t like it, I also didn’t have an alternative, so there has never been another name I would have chosen for myself.
Recently, I have joined a writing community on Facebook led by Patsy Clairmont. Periodically, she and her team are posting writing prompts to challenge us to workout our writing muscles. Thus, I will be sharing these prompts and my responses to them here.