My name is Maya.
When I was nine, I discovered that I could write my name inside the letter “M”. I would scribble it in my notebook and draw it with markers. My very own monogram. A veritable insignia. That never got used. It became a little memento of my past, a visual rendition of my name that got buried under old book reports and other elementary school paraphernalia.
Two years later, I decided it was time to change my name. It was not so much a change so much as a series of generic appellations that gave me a feeling of ownership over my individuality.
Today, I am enamored by the name chosen my parents, the name that is so linguistically similar and yet anthropologically diverse the world over. Universally, my name is a thick froth of milky sonorants, broken up just right to allow each sound to be digested. But, it is on the micro level that my name is a rich medley of mythology and religion and languages and cultures. This melange is like my own personal encyclopedia of self, a source of self-history that is integrally intertwined with the present me, and a unique complement to my self-discoveries in my enduring search for self truth.