Today is Unique Names Day.

Honestly, I'm not sure there's anyone more qualified to speak on this subject. Before arriving at Cat, I had never come across another soul who had the same name as me. Sure, I've heard of Jonna's, Jana's, Shayna's, and even Johna's, but still, THAT'S NOT MY NAME. Funny enough, I met a listener who spells her name the same as me. Yay for name twins!

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However, I'm not sure she pronounces it the same way I do.

If you're given a name that would NEVER make it into the top 50 list of baby names, then you're probably a tiny bit familiar with the feeling. When people pronounce my name with a hard 'J' sound, it makes my blood run cold. My name's not pronounced 'Jawna' or even like 'John' with an "a" on the end. It's pronounced like 'genre' but without the "r". Hearing my name pronounced wrong is so cringey. Like, nails on a chalkboard CRINGE.

Not only do I have a weird first name, but my middle and last names aren't run-of-the-mill either. Before you ask the question, yes, 'Michal' is on my birth certificate. I have creative parents, that's for sure. While I thank them for forcing a piece of individuality on me, I didn't always feel that way. Growing up with a weird name was ROUGH, let me tell you. Kids can be SO MEAN! I heard every single name in the book, but you know what? I wouldn't trade my name for the world now.

You know how they say that you eventually grow into your name? I'm a firm believer in that. I think when a child is given an unorthodox name, the child learns what it means to blaze their own path sooner than most. You learn at a young age that there's no one else like you, so your mind starts to shape your worldview already accepting that each person is different - a healthy lesson to learn while you're young, isn't it?

Since today is Unique Names Day, I felt it'd be remiss of me to stay silent on the topic. So, let the record show that if you're searching for a name for your child that isn't necessarily the norm, take it from an oddly-named artsy type, your kid will thank you for it.

 

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