Monday, April 9, 2012

What's Mia's is Mine

I belong to a few clubs: The Writer's Life, Freelancer For Hire, Over 50, Mother of Two and No One Else Has My Name.

Until now. Someone else kinda has my name and it's kind of creepy.

When I was a kid I always wanted a simple but striking last name like Taylor or Wilson. Since I was going to be a published author, something catchy with strong marketability was definitely part of the plan. "Mia Taylor" or "Mia Wilson" even "Mia Armstrong" all sounded way better than Mia DiDio.

DiDio was a name that was made fun of in school all the time. Another club. It was a name I usually had to spell correctly for others ~ "That's a capital "D" and another capital "D", Mr. Harris. No, it's not one word it's two, pronounced D-Dee-O. No, you can't turn it into one word or my dad will come see you." That's what Italian dads do ~ they go see you.

My last name also had that ethnic attribution I fantasized about crawling out from underneath of, too. When you grow up first generation ethniticity you want everything to be Americanized, nothing less than homogenized, in the false world of acceptance. It's what I thought I wanted.

Then I did grow up. I not only began to love my name but I learned to love the pronunciation of my name. Mi-a Di-Di-o. For being of such few letters it's packed with a ton of syllables. There's some kind of power just in that but really it's packed with lots of meaning tied to my Italian heritage from love and a sacred connection.

Mia is because one of my brothers who, when we were toddlers, couldn't pronounce my given name of Maryann. That happened to suit my father just fine. "Don't cry," he'd say. "Mia is Italian for mine. And your mine," he added with a pinch of my nose.

I felt proud; I felt like I belonged and when he called me Mia, I felt loved no matter what else was happening.

The name DiDio, forget about it. I've mentioned its beauty before. Straight from the Heavens themselves that means Of God ~ it too is my father's name; both of my fathers from here and above.

By the time I was well beyond my days of youth I had completely decided that my writing name would be my given name and nothing else. No Nom de Plume, especially after seeing author Joan Didion's books among the stacks of bookstores. There's definitely a sense of ownership that comes with in-born heritage.

Now that my hard work, virtual efforts and spiritual manifestation are all becoming a cohesive presence, there's another that kind of has my name out there but she's not me. This Other Name lives in Florida and looks like she could be me but she's not. I don't want to be confused with that Other Name. Mine is mine.

It makes for a searchable quandary because most people aren't that sensitive to accented or accentuated names. The Other Name is the different spelling with the second "D" in lower case that would be pronounced like Video. That's a wholly different pronunciation.

I'm glad my name is Google-able and when you come across it in Google-land, or input it into a search engine, please know I am not the same Other Name that's from Florida. I've lived in Arizona, New England and upstate New York. My name is mine and the spelling of it is highly important. =)

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