I think I was in the 8th grade and my best friend was Julia McCarty. Julia loved Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip.I'm not sure why I just explained who Snoopy is. She even wore a backpack with Snoopy on the pocket. Julia wanted her nickname to be Snoop because of her fierce love. My name is Adriana but it has been screwed up my entire life. Usually I'm called AN-DRE-UH, but rarely A-DREE-ANNA or AH-DREE-AHNA. Even my mail comes to a different first name. Our friendship happened during a huge explosion in the rap world. It was the introduction of Snoop Dogg and Dr.Dre. One of the guys we were in school with thought the name similarity was funny. Julia was Snoop for her love of Snoopy and I was Dre...because no one could get my name correct. It was a school yard joke that we thought was pretty cool.
Now over 20 years later most people call me Dre. I usually introduce myself as Dre to new people. Before I quit my job everyone I worked with called me Dre. There would be calls asking for Adriana and no one knew who she was. Even my in laws call me Dre, it was how they were introduced and they can't pronounce my name. I have had the same email address since high school email@example.com. I took that and turned it into a license plate SXYDRE. Sometimes I'll have a post on facebook and in the comments people will say "Well the Dre I know...." I always feel like responding with "Tell me more...who is that Dre?" Over the years I feel like I invented this woman. She sounds AWESOME!! From what I've been told Dre is super confidant, funny, supportive, used to be sexy. This is totally the kind of girl I'd like to meet. Apparently she too has an alter ego...Drunk Dre. Drunk Dre gets sloppy, blacks out, gets sexually suggestive. Still sounds like fun to me! That is until strangers talk to me like we're old friends and make jokes that I don't understand. "You don't remember when you...." Ugh I hate those conversations. Drunk Dre was born my senior year in high school. I got drunk and then smoked pot for the first time. I don't remember anything else from that night. The next Monday at school I heard all about her though.....yikes. She only got worse and less clothed at different points of my blurry memory. Now she is kept under lock and key, only brought out for "special" occasions. Thankfully in her old age she seems to keep the clothing on . But back to me and my identity crisis.....
So the rest of world calls me Dre. My family however calls me Drana (DRAH-NA). I have hated that name for decades now. I get introduced by them this way. It's like spreading a disease. Now people I'm not related too and barely know try to call me a name that I hate. I have 1 friend, who has insisted on calling me this name...because she knows that I hate it.
If you have known me literally my entire life, well I can't help that you call me this name. And truthfully it doesn't bug me as much.
But for god sakes do not introduce me this way!
When I started writing this blog I played with ideas on how I would introduce myself. It was really hard. Somewhere between the name I was born with and the name I took, I got confused about me. Now I feel like I'm trying to dig deep and figure it all out. At the end of each post the signature says Adriana. But I feels strange to me. Funny enough my husband is the only one who always calls me by that name every time. When we first met he called me Dre. But after our first kiss...he has never called me Dre again. In fact my red headed, freckle faced, former redneck husband says my name with an accent. He rolls his R's and always says it the way my mother intended when she gave me the name. I never asked him to or told him how...he just does. I can't explain why, but it makes me feel special. And it makes me feel like even if I'm not sure who I am, he knows.
I am realizing that part of finding my sparkle and being happy, is finding myself. I don't mean the little girl abandoned on the school yard when I became Dre. I mean finding out who I want to be now.Not so much reinventing myself as being a better version of the me. This is my birthday month in 23 days I'll be 34....I don't know if I'm Adriana or Drana or Dre. But I know that I want to be better than whichever I have been. I don't know that this post is significant to you.....but for me it's more than just my name. I'm looking for me....have you seen her?