Updated: Aug 26, 2019
May 25th, 1985 - TWA flight from Madrid, Spain to New York, USA
This is me, sitting on a plane flying into the unknown with my father by my side. After our six month immigration journey in Spain we were finally given permission to travel to the United States.
When I arrived to New York and when I first began to attend school, the journey was a difficult one. As it always is for immigrant children especially the ones who do not speak English. Language is such a barrier and such a difficult one to walk through. I can still recall the first time that I told my teachers my name "Dorota" The pronunciation of that name in polish is very soft but the way it was pronounced in the English language sounded so harsh that it almost shook me to my core. Already feeling like a stranger in a place where I did not feel that I belonged, the pronunciation of my name made it even more difficult.
Here I was at the age of twelve cringing each and every time someone said my name. Being so insecure at that time I did not have the confidence to correct them, or to simply teach them how to pronounce the beautiful name that my parents blessed me with. So I did the only thing that made sense, I learned the translation of my name in english which is "Dorothy"
And that is who I became. Simply from wanting to fit in, to be seen and understood, to feel that I was no longer different. Everyone knew that name, they knew how to pronounce it and they even associated it with the movie "The Wizard of Oz" This change allowed me to fit in, into the strange world that was so new to me.
But today at the age of 46, I no longer need the validation, the confirmation, the feeling of belonging because I inside of my heart know who I truly am, and embracing it without the fears that I so long held on to feels almost like a rebirth.
The nickname "Dorothy" was kind to me, but it never felt like home. It was a name that I carried to belong, but the little girl inside of me has come a long way. I was told recently by a very wise woman Sharón Lynn Wyeth who is a Neimology expert about my name. It is amazing at the synchronicities that happen in our lives, how the perfect people come to us at the perfect time and how we are always exactly where we are meant to be. When I expressed to her my concern about the pronunciation of my name she simply stated that the people who love you, care for you and respect you will learn the proper way to say your beautiful name, and the ones who don't, won't.
We all go through so many changes in our lives, so many obstacles and learn so many lessons. Some at a younger age, some at their older. It is never too late as I always say, to follow your dreams and to apply the lessons to finally be who your soul has always wanted you to become.