My name is unique. I’ve grown up hearing mispronunciations literally my entire life. Not to call anyone out, but I still have family members that can’t spell it (it’s been almost 18 years guys, get it together). Having a name you don’t hear all the time means people will take note of it all the time. There is no escaping this fact. There is no simple introduction where you say your name and they say theirs. Instead, there is you saying your name and them saying “Wait, what?” or “Say that again?”
As with anything, there are those who love the outlier, the oddball of a name, and also those who can’t even begin to understand why your parents cursed you in this horrid way. In some ways, it is good having an unusual name. I am the only Visakha in my school and the only Visakha that most of my friends and family know, so there is little confusion as to “which Visakha” someone could refer to. Another perk is that your name is pretty dang memorable, or if it’s not, it’s at least known that you are the girl with the funny name.
But don’t get me wrong, there are many downsides to being so “unique”. My name is especially difficult because it does not sound the way it looks. If you were to read it normally, you would probably mispronounce it. Along with that, Microsoft Word will vehemently tell me my name is a typo, but I must persevere. Teachers will pause with a confused look as they read off the attendance list and before they even say it, I know it’s me. Don’t even get me started on those keychains and pre-personalized gear that have names on them, mine will never be on any such item. Maybe if I were like Beyoncé, a name like this would be normal, but who knows? Until the point that people refer to me as “Queen V”, it’s still pretty weird.
My unusual name used to be something that I felt held me back from ever entering the societal norm. I would imagine a simple world in which my name was Ashley or Tina. This was how I viewed my name for many years but I have come to love and appreciate my name. As completely generic as this sounds, my parents did an excellent job in approving this name for me. I am not a normal person who fits into society's norms most times anyways, so it is perfect. Although it can at times (ok, all the time) be a hassle to explain and to pronounce, I love my name and wouldn't have it any other way