I have been sitting in my living room for a few hours trying to figure out what to write about. I finally decided on how it all starts. Life begins when you are first conceived but individuality really begins when you are named. Even though we do not choose our own, the person-rather it be your mom, dad, brother, sister, etc- who does makes that decision hoping it sculpts your life in a positive way. My aunt named me on my fathers side. The meaning is great. It means first born in French. She was hoping to have a daughter one day and was blessed with 2 beautiful boys. So why not give the name to her big brothers blessing child. The last born.
Deshanay Marcia Sawyers. Marcia pronounced Marsha named after my beautiful grandmother Marcia Kincaid. Sawyers from my dads dad who passed away when my dad was 12.
My birth and a few years that followed are for another post. I was in the care of my legal guardian, Audrey Anderson, who I know as my mother. In her home I was not Deshanay, I was Jenae. I to this day still do not know why but I assume she looked at the bigger picture. She did not want me to go through the struggles of growing up with a difficult name. She did not think about what kind of toll it would take on my life growing up with two names. I was Jenae until middle school. And for those who went to middle school with me from elementary school I was Jenae. For the others I was Deshaney. If you notice the mispelling, take note. It was hard getting used to hearing Deshaney coming from anyone’s mouth let alone pronounced incorrectly from teachers. I used to get so defensive even sometimes ignorant. Upholding my name and its uncommoness. High school came around and I learned how to control myself. When my name was pronounced incorrectly, I just pronounced it the correct way and let it go.
When I moved to North Carolina that changes the game completely. When I got hired for my second job instead, of just using my social security card, they used my birth certificate. I know you’re wondering why that was an issue. Well, one form of identification had a different spelling than the other. After writing and typing Deshaney for five years it changed over night to Deshanay. I remember going into my first job, Bank of America, and having to change all of my paperwork and signing first signature under a new name. Well the same name but a new spelling. So now I have been Deshanay Marcia Sawyers for 3 years now and after 2017 it will be the fourth.
I have been through trials and tribulations as Jenae, Deshaney, Deshanay, and all the other nicknames I have endured through out my 23 years of living. Being Deshanay has been the best experience of them all.
From now on I answer only to Deshanay. I have memories of life as the other names and what I went through has only molded be to be a better person. And I am now 100% confident in who I am. I struggled with my identity and a lot more. Some will never understand what I mean, but I now know that any aspect of my life is not about anyone but me Deshanay Marcia Sawyers.