Did you know that there are times when I go by the name Amy.
For anyone who knows me personally you’re probably cringing. I am too.
Growing up in the suburbs of America you’re not surrounded by a lot of diversity. A.k.a. I was diversity. Which means that not a lot of people knew how to pronounce my name growing up.
My name is Aiko (eye-co.) It’s literally two syllables out of all the Asian names I could’ve had Aiko was pretty easy.
Growing up,especially in elementary and middle school, kids wouldn’t even take the effort to learn my name they would just say what they thought was funny in their heads and extra letters syllables and I got sick of it. It’s hard, then it escalated to name calling. At that age it takes a toll on you.
Around my high school years I adopted the name Amy. I wasn’t like a lot of students who had a very ethnic name who chose an American. This is a common practice especially for students studying abroad here in America.
I would use Amy out of convenience. If I went to Starbucks, if the checker asked what my name was I didn’t want to deal with the inconvenience especially out in pronouncing my name.
It was so bad that I actually had a boyfriend would only call Amy and refused to call me my actual name.
To this day I will use Amy out of convenience (usually at Starbucks) but I am very proud of my birth name.
For people who are in a similar situation to me I hope you take pride in the name that you have because it is beautiful and unique. There was a purpose for why you were named – you’re amazing just the way you are.
For those who have a common/easy to pronounce name- understand it’s a struggle. If you take the time to learn my name, I will respect you so much more.
This video by actress Uzo Aduba really hit home with my experience growing up and inspired me to make this post.If you have a few minutes I encourage you to watch it.
With all my love,