I can’t believe I’ve never done this post. More importantly, I can’t believe I’ve never really gotten the question on here. Where the heck did I get a name like Fadra? So I’m going to write all about me today. Yes, it’s self-centered but it’s actually a little interesting too.
When I meet people in person and introduce myself, I have lots of problems and questions with my name. I get the standard mispronunciations like “FAH-dra.” Even after I correct people, they’ll say it correctly a few times and then slip right back into “FAH-dra.” It’s actually pronounced “FAY-dra.” I used to be too shy to correct people but now I will let you know if you are saying it wrong.
I also gets lots of people that think my name is Fay. I introduce myself as “Fadra Nally” and they think I’ve said “Fay Dranally.” They hear the only part of my name that they recognize and say “Hi, Fay. Nice to meet you.” I politely correct them and then they ask me to repeat myself. Or they disregard my name entirely and call me “Nally.” I’ll never understand that one.
And then there’s the question of where my name came from. What they are really asking is where did I come from. I’m used to it by now. I don’t mind the question. In fact, I help people out when they’re trying to figure out the most politically correct way to ask me.
“So, Fadra. Is that, I mean, are you… is that an American name?”
I launch into my standard spiel:
“The name is Greek but I’m not. I’m as American as they come. In fact, I’m my own melting pot, a mixture of tons of ethnicities. The name is ordinarily spelled Phaedra and has its roots in Greek mythology. No, that’s not where my mom got it from. She got it from a really bad song in the 60s. No, she wasn’t a hippie and never did drugs. She just likes unusual names and out of four kids in the family, I got the brunt of it.”
Every once in a while, I’ll meet someone who knows someone who knows someone named Fadra or Phaedra. It’s always spelled different. I’ve always been unique. Sounds cool, right? But think back to your adolescent days. What did you want? To fit in.
When I was little, I wanted to be Sheila or Crystal. Then I would have been happy with Kelly or Jennifer. Anything but Fadra. My name seemed to define me. I felt isolated. Different. I had a music teacher once tell me that “Fadra” sounded like a name for a model or an actress. Wishful thinking.
I did venture into the theater space. I was a high school drama nerd (although I’ve never watched single episode of Glee). I minored in Theater in college and my name was sort of worshipped by the theater types. It still never grew on me.
And then I started to try to embrace my name. Or try to anyway. I started a group on Facebook. It’s called “Growing Up Fadra.” I created it as a group for the select few that grew up with the name Fadra. I had never met another Fadra and knew there were more out there.
It turns out, there are 15 of us (in the group anyway). We have a few additional members who joined maybe because they like someone named Fadra (my husband is a member). We’re not an active group. We don’t have much in common except for the fact that we all have the name Fadra. But it is an international group. We have members across the U.S., England, and Indonesia.
We traded a few stories about how we got our name (a lot of similar circumstances) and if we liked the name growing up and if it had any impact on the naming of our children (if we had any). I think the most exciting thing for me was becoming friends with other Fadras and seeing their names appear on my wall. It was so bizarre to see another Fadra, that wasn’t me, posting things about their life. And seeing people respond to them with the name Fadra and they weren’t talking to me.
I guess you have to have a name as unique as mine to understand.
As it turns out, I created a blog in my name. I didn’t put much thought into it. I just thought it would be my ramblings. My friends would know it was me. And it is sort of unique in a world where it’s easy to get buried on Google. Now, it turns out, my name has become a bit of a brand. My brand. So, like it or not, it’s with me for the long haul.