I would like to apologize to anyone I may have mislead with the title of this post. It is unfortunately not about one of the greatest songs of all time. I will endeavour to keep this one short, as it is a personal statement, rather than a literary piece.
The subject is unfortunately not the excellent hip hop song with the same name. *On a side-note though, let it be known that no one should have ever forgotten about that particular Dre, musical genius.
My name is Andrée Karyne Pontbriand. Despite Andrée appearing first on my legal documents, for most of my life, pretty well everyone has known me as Karyne.
In my youth, I was so averse to my first name that I actually refused to divulge it, even to close friends. I would shudder at dentist appointments, first days of school, and the like, where it would be called, in place of my middle name.
That being said, about a year and a half ago, I began to feel a strange pull towards this name that I had perpetually rejected.
It may have been due to mounting frustration around constantly being called names which were not my own. The most popular substitutes being: “Karen”, “Karina” or “Kareem”, and shockingly, even “Kanye”… No word of a lie, even that last one was uttered on more than one occasion, and by more than one person.
The other reason that came to mind was that, perhaps, this was caused by my increasing desire to stop running from myself. Either way, I felt that it was too late to alter it, as most people already knew me as Karyne. I feared judgment, as well as appearing silly or volatile, and so, I continued to stifle this inclination. Now, I'm kind of done suppressing things.
I indeed forgot about Dre and in doing this, so too, did I forget about many of the things that make me who I am. So, in the spirit of this new commitment to authenticity, I have decided to be true to myself and to accept this greater feeling of connectedness to Andrée. As such, I am going by my first name from now on. People can accept or judge or disapprove, as they wish. Do you, dear friends. Announcement over.
Turialpa, Costa Rica, January 2017.