I've finally found an idea for another random fact about myself. At first, I wanted to get all six facts done within a week, but as you can see that didn't happen. I forgot about it until a couple of days ago when my sister showed me an article request from Haro (help a reporter out). Someone was looking for stories from people who have unusual names and either already changed them, or want to change them. Thus was born my second random fact idea...
#2. I used to hate my name. When I was about fifteen or so, I tried to change it - not legally, but I did go by the name Nicole, my middle name, for a few months. Tamika is not necessarily an unusual name, but growing up in Oxford in the late 90's where minorities accounted for about 1% of the population, my name may as well have been Xiao-Zhi or Fadhila or some other foreign name. It didn't help either that the only reason my mother chose my name is because she thought I was going to be a boy until the moment she saw me. I was known as "baby Edwards" in the nursery until my mother finally stole the name Tamika from a friend that had just used that name for her newborn.
Naturally, because of guilt I suppose, my mother gave me the go ahead to change my name. So after running through many other options, I figured my middle name would be the easiest transition. I told everyone I knew to call me Nicole and even started receiving some mail with my new name on it. After a few months, though, I gave it up. I think I finally realized that a name is just a name and it doesn't reflect who I am.
I know there's plenty of people out there that believe that your name has a definite bearing on opportunities in life. We've all heard that ethnic sounding names on job applications will get less attention due to unfortunate stereotypes about irresponsibility, laziness, etc. Be that as it may, I don't believe that I fit whatever sterotype may be attached to my name and many other Tamikas probably don't fit it either. There are probably many Marys and Williams that don't fit whatever positive stereotype that there names elicit either. To me, the bottom line is that I know i'm much more than a name and that my character is what defines me.