My Name is not Holly
I don’t love my name.
I never have.
As a kid growing up, a “special” name like Di Adra is like a curse to kid. You never get a cool nickname, you never have a name-buddy in your class, and you NEVER get to pick a souvenir with your name on it. EVER.
My friends all had neat and easy names that lent themselves to these things, especially the cool nicknames.
Jennifer: Jenn, Jenny, Jenster
Clarisy: Claire, Clair-bear, CJ
Josephine: Josie, Joster, JoJo
I got D. Just plain D. No frills, no cool rhyme, nothin’.
They all had matching bracelets with their names on them that we found at the mall one time shopping. I got a pen that lit up.
Lily is the secret name of my heart. It’s the name I felt would have been so amazing to be called during roll. A name that would have been neat to find on a license plate for my bike. A name that would have paired well with my married name, Rose. I’m still hoping one of my sweet and dearly devoted children will pick this as a name for a future grandchild. Hey, a girl can dream. I mean, come on, Lily Rose?
That’s a name with playground pizzazz.
It’s a name that has never pronounced correctly by anyone, ever, even after a few attempts. My cousin has known me my whole life and he still calls me DEEEEdra. I have been called every variation: Diedra, Deerdra, Daydra, Deandra, and even Deetra.
How?? There’s no T!
I loathed the days when we had a substitute teacher. Never in all the years I was in school, despite my best effort on day one of class asking the teacher to please make a notation on the roll sheet that “it’s just D”, did I ever have a sub that followed that note. It was like a personal challenge to them to try to get it right. I knew where I was in the lineup, “please, please, please…”
“Ummm, DeeAndra Lackey??”
A snicker, giggles, snorts.
It got to the point I would just shout “Here!” before they tried to decipherer and destroy it.
But why, you ask. It’s a pretty name, different, and unique. Where does it come from and why would you hate it??
Well, like DiCaprio, it’s Italian. Somewhere down the line we had extended familia named Di Adriani’s and my father thought this a clever take on that.
(I actually had a great- Uncle Philly from Philly who “knew a guy”. He once gave me a large sum of money for my graduation and told me, I kid you not, “we never had this conversation”.) It’s not a terrible name. It doesn’t rhyme with something tragic or remind people of a bad word. It’s just a name that has never really meant anything to me. It’s not connected to a famous person, a trend of the 70’s, a characteristic or a positive attribute. It’s not a name that has ever felt like who I am.
What’s funny is that even though I hate my name, I struggled for so many years not being called by it.
Over the years, I have been referred to by others as: Oh, you’re Tiffany’s sister! You’re Sheila’s daughter. You’re Kevin’s wife. You’re Ethan’s mom. The snack lady, The nursery gal, etc
“No! Those are things about me or things I do, not who I am”, I would think.
I have a name of my own!
Learn it. Use it. Know me for me.
My soon-to-be DIL had her bridal shower a few weeks back. A lovely affair that her momma threw and it was themed after Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I watched the movie again in preparation for it and one of the lines just struck me so deeply. The male lead says to Audrey’s character, “Holly, I love you!” to which she replies, “I’m not Holly! And I’m not Lula May! I don’t know who I am. I’m like cat. I belong to no one and no one belongs to me!”
Wow. That someone so lovely could not know their worth, their value, who they belonged to. Their name.
I am so very blessed that my son’s future wife had a mother who poured into her. She knows her name. I am grateful that even through all my stumbles and missteps; I have a beautiful daughter of my own that knows her value and worth. She knows exactly who she belongs to.
My husband calls me Sunshine, Baby, and My Love. He says this with love and devotion. My kids call me Mom, Momma, Mother whom I love and who so totally rocks. They call me this with love, respect, and laughter. I am called sister, daughter, friend, team member, volunteer, helper, worker, servant. These names aren’t just what I do. They are who I am.
I turn 40 this year, which means that along with all my other titles, I get to add “old”.
I’m super okay with this because I’ve learned that I also answer to a few more names that my age has brought to me.
I am called Blessed.
I am called Grateful.
I am called Beloved.
I am called daughter of the One True King.
My name is not Holly.
It’s Di Adra and I know to Whom I belong.
How’s that for pizzazz.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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