This I Believe…

Yormeri - Waxhaw, North Carolina
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in uncommon names, the kind that takes repeating it twenty times, over pronouncing it, and even spelling it out, just to introduce yourself. For me, this long process has always been a part of my every day life.

As a young girl I always dreaded the first day of school. The teachers would call roll and completely kill my name, causing roars of mocking laughter and humiliation. Being self-conscious of my name, I avoided meeting new people as a defense-mechanism from embarrassment, each day growing more shy and timid. The day came, however, which showed me a new perspective to viewing my weird name.

It all began in the middle of fourth grade, when my parents decided to move, yet again, forcing me into a whole new school filled with unfamiliar faces. When I heard that horrible question I’d successfully dodged so many times before, “What’s your name”?, I immediately felt my face turn bright red as I wished for a more common, easier name to pronounce. What happened next caught me of guard. When I told my new art teacher my name was “Your-Mary”, she smiled and said “I know my name is Mary, but what’s your name”? Dumbfounded, I repeated my name only to get the same reply. It wasn’t until another student told her my name was actually “Your-Mary” that she understood. We began to laugh and, this time, my classmates laughed with me instead of at me. She then asked me if I would prefer going by Mary, and, to my surprise, I said no. At that very moment I realized how common the name Mary was, and I didn’t want to share my name with anyone else.

Throughout the years my odd name has made meeting new people easy, becoming the object of conversation and saving me from awkward silences. With each new friend I make I also gain one new nickname (a few of my favorites being, Yomama, yogurt, and yo-yo). I enjoy seeing peoples’ facial expressions when hearing my name for the first time, and it makes my day every time someone I’ve never met before already knows my name. I’m proud of being “the girl with the really weird name” knowing that, although it may be the hardest to learn, it’s also the most unforgettable.

Yormeri is much more than just letters put together, it’s my personality, my history, my identity. It’s become my trademark in a way, unique, weird and random, just like me. It has sculpted me into the confident, outgoing woman I am today. My name has taught me to take what people consider to be my biggest flaw and make it into my best quality. I’m no longer ashamed of my name and wouldn’t change it for the world.