I love my Friday Favorites but I thought I would switch it up a little today. Before we get into the post let me introduce myself first, my name is Svetlana. Obviously every time I meet someone new I have to introduce myself and when I worked at IKEA my name tag was front and center for the world to see.
When I was adopted I was given the option of keeping my name or changing it and I obviously chose to keep it (except for that time that I told my doctor my name was Xena…but that’s a store for another time). Growing up I had a hard time with that decision because I was shy and didn’t want to draw attention to myself. Having a name that teachers can’t pronounce and that my mother had to constantly give people tips on pronouncing wasn’t the greatest. The shorter version of my name is Sveta or Svet. This is what most of my friends and family call me and for a while I would always introduce myself as Sveta (okay, I know, get all the “feta cheese” jokes out of your system now).
I can’t tell you how many times people have looked at me like I have five heads when I tell them my name or they read it on a name tag – I am constantly getting questions about my name, how to pronounce it and if they’re saying it correctly. So here’s a little background on my: It’s Russian in origin, which made studying abroad there interesting since it’s a super popular name there. It mean’s “light”. And it’s pronounced exactly like it is spelled – Svetlana. No silent letters or anything of the sort. And generally if you try to say my name and you butcher it, I will tell you that you did it correctly anyway (life’s too short!).
As I’ve grown older I have more pride in my name but if I place takeout orders or go to Starbucks I generally use Carson’s name or whoever I am with that has an “easy” name.
I am always so fascinated and excited to meet other people who have “unique” names (not to say that more common names don’t interest me as well). I met a girl in college whose name was Gillian – pronounced like the gill of a fish and with an “ian” on the end. I loved it. And I always make a point to find out the story behind their names – sometimes they don’t know (and I hope I gave them something to think about) and sometimes, like my friend Gillian, they know that their parents decided on the name because of an old song they both loved.
I never had the opportunity to ask my mother why she chose that name for me, but I like to think that maybe I was the light in her life, or that she hoped I would be a light to someone else one day. But who knows!
Do you know the story behind your name? I’d love to hear it!