Breaking my first name…”Maria”

UntitledYou all know me by “Maria”.

That’s my first name and it’s been the name I’ve been called for almost 15 years since I came to the USA.  However; for the first 18 years of my life that I lived in Peru, my name was “Rocio” (Rosie-o).

It was a difficult transition for me to get used to being called “Maria”, and at times, I didn’t respond to it. I felt like it wasn’t my name. I didn’t feel like myself. That name wasn’t me.

When I came to the USA, learning the language and the culture weren’t the only challenges. Becoming myself, was the biggest challenge. For a long time, I used to feel like there was a gap between “Maria” and “Rocio”. They were two different people. I was “Rocio” and not “Maria”.

It took over a decade for “Rocio” to become “Maria”, and now I can proudly say that I am both. Unless you are an immigrant with two names, you probably don’t understand what I am talking about. Having two names, two countries, two languages, two cultures; that is the reality for many immigrants that come to the USA. It is difficult to fully integrate, and it takes time. Once this integration occurs internally, it will be externalized by the immigrants becoming who they really are and achieving what they came for to America.

What’s in a name? What’s in your name? I shared my story from an immigrant perspective. I would love to hear yours.

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About MariaManess

A passionate and creative engineer woman with a business mind, working hard to accomplish life-long goals.

Posted on March 20, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. I really liked this post Maria, it’s great to see another perspective to this issue. As a teacher of many Hispanic students, I have always tried to say their names correctly. I even do my best to say their names with a Spanish pronunciation (although I will admit, they usually giggle at my first few attempts) to make them feel at ease and accepted at school. There are still many teachers thought that will try to force kids to shorten their names to easier pronunciations without even thinking about the student’s feelings on the matter, which I think is a total travesty.

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