I’ve changed my name from Amia to Levi and here’s why: The name Amia carries a lot of weight, a lot of bad memories. It carries a past where I’ve been nervous. Where I’ve waited outside people’s doors like a dog. Where I’ve been unable to stand up for myself. But most importantly a past in which I was never truly happy. Imagine being named Amia while your best friends leave you or when your one of your best friends puts you in a position to hear your dad threaten to kill himself or being named Amia while you watch your own mum get raped. These are only a few of the repressed memories carried with that name. A friend was worried that if I lose Amia, I lose the sweet charming person I was. That friend wasn’t there while I was alone, isolated in my room for years losing my head because I couldn’t feel my heart is. Everytime you call me Amia I want to kill you because it’s as if you’re acknowledging all the progress I’ve made as my own person and just slapping me in the face with it. It pisses me off even more the closer you’ve been and it enrages me when it comes from people who should’ve been in my life recently but haven’t because of bullshit while I’ve been working my arse off. If I lose my past is it a bad thing? A past where nearly everyone I know left me, bullied me or betrayed me? A past where I was alone in a disgusting home life and school life? A past where I’ve been sexually harased, kicked down and just outright disrespected? I think not. I’ve been torn apart recently. Trying to handle the conflict between my old self and new self that I’ve evolved into but what I realise is that I’m afraid and it seems to be that those voices of fear are the voices that haven’t accepted this change. So let me explain where it came from: Roughly two years ago I was on an underground train. I was how I usually was on a train: Nervous, tight, ready to break at the first second of someone staring at me. I had my earphones in and everything was normal but something strange happened. A voice from my stomach said something. It told me to shout, to scream right on that train. It was something I’d never recollected before. It was different to the voices in my head that were constantly telling me someone was watching me and that I should be scared. It came from within. I didn’t scream or do anything except smile. I knew this was something different and I knew it was the start of something. That’s where the inner voice came from. Levi was a name I had always liked and I wanted to pass onto my son but in this significance it was the name I gave that voice. The voice deep within me: My true essence – My true me. It gave me a change to grow and become a person I respect. A person I knew and could look up to and that person would be myself. I’ve never regretted the decision. The plan was for it to become my middle name but it would only be so long until it wasn’t enough. I recieved a letter that said ‘Levi Kouakou’ and instantly I felt lighter. I smiled. I knew this was what I wanted. So don’t deny me this because you aren’t. I won’t let you. This is bigger than someone trying to call me an old name. It’s a name. You can’t touch it or feel it. It’s just a name. You could change it everyday and it still wouldn’t matter. My surname is still the same. It’s your choice:
Am I your friend or not/Do you respect me or not?
If yes, then call me Levi.
Yours sincerely, Levi x