My change defines me | Teen Ink

My change defines me

October 6, 2021
By cyrus1924 BRONZE, Delafield, Wisconsin
cyrus1924 BRONZE, Delafield, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

When I was a child I was embarrassed by my name. 

If a substitute teacher read attendance, I cringed. My name was a sign of my difference—something I hated. I prayed that the sub would pronounce my name correctly, read it quickly as if it was as normal as a Joey, Andrew or Max. But it wasn’t. The teacher would always look up after mispronouncing my name, only to see my face reddening. 

I would curse my parents for naming me the way they did.

They would smile and reply, “You are named after Cyrus the Great, the Persian emperor. You have the name of a king” 

Kings are courageous. Powerful. Leaders. However I never felt that way. I felt different. At the root of my difference was my name. My difference scared me. It made me insecure to the point that I despised my name. 


My mom constantly tells me I’m a light in her world. My name agrees with her. Cyrus in Arabic translates to “sun”. The Sun allows for life on Earth to live. The sun bestows care and nurture on the Earth and its inhabitants. Cyrus also translates to “one who bestows care”. Whether this is just a coincidence, it shows just how special my name is. 

When I reached 9th grade, I finally stopped cringing when a substitute teacher mispronounced my name. I would respond confidently with greater appreciation of my name. I would lift my chin, and respond with bravado, and confidence. A change from the quiet unconfident child I was. Overtime, I realized that being different was no reason to be insecure. My name made me different, something I now love. I want my name to be remembered. I want everyone to know how unique I am, just by the sound of my name. 

Although at first I cringed at my difference, now it defines me. No one carries my name. My name is enshrined in uncommonality which I apply to myself. I aim to be different and uncommon, like my name. I aim to do things others won’t, like my name. My name shaped me into who I am today. 

The author's comments:

This piece is meant to be similar to Sandra Cisneros' "My name" article. It aimed to use many of her rhetorical choices while also adding more, and telling my story.

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