I have been stuck with the name Marianna Delynne Pizzini, or Mari Pizzini, since the day I was born. Substitute teachers always get it wrong and I always have to smile and reply and say “it’s actually Mah-ree, not Mary.” It gets old never being able to find keychains with your name on it. I grew up having to write out twenty-two letters just to get my full name on a page. I was ACCIDENTALLY named after my great-grandmother. If that doesn’t tell you about the¬†frustration of my name.

Your name is what ties you to your family, or to your spouse. It is the one thing that you carry with you from cradle to grave, unless you want to change it. Honestly, it is something that you can’t choose at birth but can change at 18 and that to me makes a name unique.

My name is unique. It is as unique as I am, in a way.

I used to hate my name. It felt clunky in my mouth. It never fit behind my teeth or on the tip of my tongue. I refused to answer to “Marianna” until I was 16 or I was in serious trouble. My name never felt like it belonged to me because no one could pronounce it and no one could spell it right. It felt like an accident.

Today, I have begun to accept my name. It’s intricacies make it mine. My name is still longer than I am tall, but it fits behind my teeth and in my mouth. I’ve grown with it.

 

Rewrite: Five-year-old

I hate my name. It’s stupid. It’s really, really, really long and I don’t like it.

Mom only calls me Marianna when I do something bad. I don’t like being called that. It’s Mari. Only Mari! Because I hate spelling my name for Ms. Lara. It’s Mari.

Why is my name this big? I wish it wasn’t. I wish it was something different, like Rose! I wish my¬†name was like a princess. I want to be like a princess. I don’t want to be Mari anymore. I want to be a princess.