When I was younger I hated my name. I hated introducing myself and I hated being the last kid in the first grade that actually learned how to spell their own name. I hated the way it was pronounced and the way I naturally rolled my “r’s” and the way I had to be separated from the other kids in the classroom to learn a new language because, even though I was born in the United States, I never heard or spoke English until I was in school.
I lost my accent trying to fit in and allowed teachers and classmates to cut my name into smaller syllables because it made it easier for them to chew and swallow it without choking on the bones of my new cultural mestizaje.
Alejandra was my great grandmothers name, and the only thing of hers that my mother carried across the border and gave me to inherit.
I was malagradecida, tratando de deshacerme de ese nombre de cual con tanto amor mi madre me había dado. But I’m finally coming to terms with what it is and falling in love with it because it is who I am.