All through elementary school and early high school, I dreaded each time a substitute teacher would join our class for the day. Every time they would reach the middle of the alphabet while calling roll, they would pause. After a few moments of silence, I would supply a suggestion, "Maeve? I'm here."
With each trip to Starbucks I would supply a new name: May, Kim, Jen. Avoiding the possibility that the cashier didn't know how to spell my real name.
I was never quite confident with who I was. Growing up as the middle child in a bigger family, I have spent years trying to distinguish myself amongst my siblings. Constantly living in the shadows of my overachieving older siblings and pulling the weight for my younger siblings, I tended to get lost in the mix. I was, and am, the stereotypical middle child: bitter and outspoken with low expectations. Spending so much time as the rebellious middle child at home, I would even surprise myself with how unsure I was of myself at times.
What I didn't realize at the time was that I have a complete edge on some people in society. While every other Jane Doe spends her time trying to make a name for herself, my name is completely memorable in itself.
I am Maeve. M-a-e-v-e. And I am proud to say that I can now say that with complete confidence.