Trust me, you're saying it wrong. But this is nothing new - for the past 18 years, I have heard (hopefully) every possible variation of my name. And if you have a unique name too, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
That awkwardly long pause just before your name on the attendance list, or in the doctor's office waiting room while they try and figure out how to best attempt the apparent jumble of letters on the page facing them.
I used to hate having a "weird" name. When I was in elementary school, I absolutely yearned for a name that would require me to be designated with that coveted last initial. I can't even tell you how many people I know named Emily. Emily P, Emily M, Emily D, and so on. I used to think those were the luckiest girls in the world.
I went through my entire K-12 career only making a few weak attempts to correct how people said my name. I was a doormat. I never felt confident enough to assert myself or to introduce myself. Always feeling timider than I actually was. I thought I had been cursed by my parents. Forever stuck with totally awkward introductions, filled with so many "wait say that again"s.
For so long, I used to be tired and embarrassed by my un-readable name. I had long since given up on trying to correct my classmates when they butchered the pronunciation. But before I moved away to college I made a pact with myself. No more mispronunciations. If someone forgot, I would remind them. If they messed it up, I would correct them. I've stuck to this, and let me tell you: It. Feels. Good. For the first time in my life, I am proud of my name, and I am proud of what it represents. It gives me power, and it honors my heritage. I no longer feel like a burden or a doormat. What I used to think was a curse, I now know is a blessing. This name has taught me patience, given me a sense of self, made me memorable, given me stories, and most importantly: given me a voice.
And so I say to you, my fellow one-of-a-kinds: embrace it.