I kind of hate my first name. A lot. When I was in school, I was never the only Sara in my class. And most of them spelled their name with an “h” so my name was ALWAYS spelled wrong. It was so indescribably frustrating to constantly be spelling such a simple name for everyone and that they didn’t care in the slightest if it was spelled right or not. To them, it was just a little letter, but to me it was part of my identity. Just like a name is a part of everyone’s identity.
If I were to change my first name it would be to Shaela. Pronounced shay-la. It’s not exactly easier to spell correctly, but it is unique. I would have been the only Shaela around. It’s an old Gaelic name. A translation of the name Sheila, which is my grandmother’s name. It also happens to be the name I was supposed to have, before my grandfather scoffed that he didn’t like it for very misguided and bigoted reasons. The name was scrapped and I was given the third most popular name of 1993. But they dropped the “h” to make it “different.”
Today, Sara isn’t nearly as popular (number 32 on the list) but I still work with at least 1 Sara at every job that I have and in every class that I attended in college. I still have my name consistently spelled wrong, even by people who ask me how to spell it. And I still am primarily referred to by my last name, because keeping the Saras straight is just too damn confusing apparently.