Difficult Names was born from an insatiable desire to connect with women on a superficial level and transform that connection into a passionate conversation regarding the different issues that women (and humans in general) of all shapes, sizes, colors, sexual orientations, etc. face in today’s mostly shitty society.
The name of this blog was inspired by one of my favorite writers, Warsan Shire. The poem goes like this:
Give your daughters difficult names. Give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.
My first and middle names are Dania Yamel. People have a hard time pronouncing my name correctly. It used to bother me growing up. Now, I love it. It makes people think. It makes them stop and consider that my name is not a generic label and I am not another woman that can be quickly discarded. And just like my name, my hope for this blog is to attract others with a variety of topics that seem harmless at first glance, and then draws them in to discussions of meaningful issues they may actually end up caring about.
I know you are probably wondering what the hell do I know about “meaningful issues” anyway, right? Not much, to be honest. But what I do know is this: I am so tired of primarily being fed only the superficial subjects. It seems that every day, via social media and television, we are somehow made to feel like we are not enough. We are made to feel like all that matters is the way we look, the things we buy, the job we have. All else is pushed away to a neglected corner of our brain that simply awaits the next distraction and the next moment of instant gratification. As a result, I believe we all end up feeling a little lost, a little alone, and a lot unfulfilled.
I am not a sociologist or psychiatrist or someone who would even call herself “wise beyond her years.” All I know is that I want to make the most out of this life and something inside me is aching to be experience more than the bullshit society is currently throwing our way.
As a twenty-eight-year-old Latina raised on the Texas-Mexico border by Spanish-speaking parents, I constantly feel torn between two worlds. Am I Mexican or am I American? Is it okay that I care about trendy outfits and also about immigration reform and the gender pay gap? Why isn’t anyone talking about this ambivalence? There are many days that I feel guilty because society tells me I cannot be or do both. I cannot be serious about advocating for change when I’m so concerned with consumerism. I cannot be a serious attorney if I care about Rihanna’s new cosmetics line. I am either dumb or intelligent. I am either superficial or an intellectual. I either care about trivial pop culture news or the current political climate.
But the reality is that humans encompass an endless spectrum of emotions and thoughts and logic and intellect and expression. We were not born to fit into carefully labeled boxes. We are ever changing and ever evolving and maybe, if we begin acknowledging and accepting that about each other, we could all stop acting like a bunch of assholes.