All in a name

December 29, 2010
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In English my name means nothing. Matter of fact, my name means nothing in any language. To me it means mispronunciation of a ghetto name, and several hours throughout a lifetime correcting new friends and potential employers on how to say my not even wanted name. The number 8 itself means new beginnings and grace, neither of which is evident in my being. The name reminds me of a person set aside by all the wrong idiosyncrasies. A green and orange zebra in a herd full of black and white. It is the ignorance of the Black and the outcry of the suffering and the downfall of all society.

It is a knock off of so many other names given by my 'Godmother'. A variation and alternation between all of her other god children's names. Tranetra Shonya. Danetria Vonyea. All even more wretched than my own. All somehow reminders of the thing I hate the most. Ignorance.
My so-called god mother. The lack of this figure in my life never really resinated with me. Only after finding this woman was the root of one of the very things I hated so much did I feel her nagging presence constantly in my life.

She never fulfilled her role as a Godmother. She took it upon herself to complete the task of other things; like selecting a half-bit unbefitting name and leaving the havoc of it all to be forgotten. Only by her. Never by me. Never by the people who allow the three syllables to fumble off their tongue on a regular basis.

Everyone says my name wrong. Because to me JUH-NEET-RUH is not my name. Neither is the ever so common JUH-NEET-REE-UH or the less so mispronounced JUH-NAE-TRA. It never felt right when the teacher called out my name or a friend addressed me. It all sounded foreign. Even when rolling off my own tongue. Sticky and like peanut butter stuck to the roof of their mouths as it slowly stumbles out. All of it wrong. All of it ignorant.

Janessa. That is the name I will soon go under. The name that just fell on top of me one day and never let up. A name that is so similar but yet so different from my own. A name that fits. The number 7 means wisdom, it means searching for answers; the opposite from the ignorance Janietra represented to me. Janietra is only my starter name. A beginning. Just like in the number 8.

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