To The One Who Named Me

You changed your mind on what to name me once you held me for the first time. It’s as if you knew me before I got to know myself. What took me three decades to realize took you seconds. And in our first moment spent together as mother and daughter, I went from Sonia to Sadaf.

“It means seashell.”

I spent most of my childhood hating my name. I didn’t want to be unique. I wanted to blend in. And while I spent my childhood searching for my name on keychains and refrigerator magnets in gift shops, you had bigger plans for me. Something bigger than having my name etched on novelty souvenirs. You predicted the woman I’d eventually become and named me accordingly. A woman that would find her peace and safe space with the ocean. A woman that would match her emotions to the chaos and depths of the sea. A woman that comes with storms and tides, but once in a while comes with pearls too. And while there won’t be songs written about my name, the life I lead will tell the story of what you raised me to be.

And with each year, the more I get to know myself, I speak a little louder when asked for my name. And with each year, the mumbles turn into clearly pronounced syllables. And with each year, the mispronunciations left uncorrected become more infrequent.

It has been an honor to be named by you, and I can only hope one day I can gift my daughter with a name she can carry with pride. Thank you for knowing me well enough to name me something so complimentary to my spirit.

“It means seashell.”

I guess you could just add that to the infinite list of reasons why you were always made to be my mother and I your daughter.

About the author

A dichotomy in girl form.

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