In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Say Your Name.”
My first name is Atiya.
Say it outloud – you’ll probably struggle with saying it but I promise it’s said just the way it’s spelled. Uh-tea-uh.
People always have difficulty saying my name. They stumble on the letters. They add letters to it. They wince when they see my name written because they are afraid of the way they’ll say it. They say my name and then look at me with a look and say, “Did I say it right?” They ask me to repeat it when I tell them my name. They struggle because they’ve probably never seen my name anywhere before. It’s unfamiliar. It’s scary.
But it doesn’t bother me at all. I know there are a lot of people that get offended when their name is mispronounced, but my entire life, my name has been a struggle for people – and I love it.
I love that people have to pay extra attention to my name. I love that they have to put effort into it. I love that they have to think about it and focus on it.
One of my favorite things is when people refer to me by name – whether in person or text. I love when people say my name in conversation – whether to me or just referring to me. It’s special, it’s more personal, it’s more intimate. I especially love it when it’s casual and unexpected.
Atiya is an Arabic word meaning “gift” and I love my name. It’s one of my favorite things about myself. Not because I’m conceited and think I’m a gift to the world but because the name itself is very beautiful and unique. I’ve heard of people with the same name as me but I’ve never met another Atiya and I love that. I love that it’s rare and I’m usually the first Atiya people ever meet.
My name is Atiya. Nice to meet you.