I Have a Unique Name and Here’s My Story

Dear Moms and Dads,

My name is Kalilah.

I am here to share something about my identity that you might find interesting. No, it’s not about how I can eradicate the impending effects of global warming. I am neither a scientist nor a celebrity. Rather, I am someone who grew up with a unique name.

You might ask how relevant I am to your lives. Well, let me share my story with you—a story that speaks for the many children who are given unique baby names by their parents.


“I hardly find myself in categorical boxes of perception.”

Unique baby names are two-sided coins themselves. There are good and bad experiences. For starters, my name doesn’t belong in common name categories like ‘princess,’ ‘spring,’ or others.

My name stands on its own. It means ‘bosom friend’ in Arabic, so you’d think that I have Arabic parents. On the contrary, none of us hails from the Middle East or from groups that speak the language.

Because of that, I hardly find myself in categorical boxes of perception. Someone might think I’m Hawaiian one day and African the next.

“People tend to remember me…it seemed like I stood out.”

It’s something I used to hate while growing up. As a child, it was frustrating for me when people couldn’t figure out my American identity before explaining to them. I even gave the process of name-changing a thought when I was in my teenage years.

However, I realized it actually gave me an advantage when I got older. People tend to remember me better than my friends, named Anna and Marie. It seemed like I stood out. It seemed like I stood out. Moreover, I enjoyed the attention.

“There were no stereotypes of my name that I had to prove or debunk.”

It was clear from the get-go that moms and dads want their kids’ names to be unique—primarily the explanation for my name. This is why I’m thankful for my parents. And I appreciate the thought that went through it.

As I entered adulthood, I realized that building a personal brand heavily relied on the identity that I take on. For me, it has always been ‘Kalilah.’ There were no stereotypes of my name that made me feel the urge to prove myself or debunk them. My brand is solidly founded on who I am and what I can offer—not merely because of my peculiar moniker.

“It’s going to be a roller coaster ride, I say.”

However, don’t get mistaken that it’s all going to be rainbows and butterflies when you give unique baby names. It’s going to be a roller coaster ride, I say. Sometimes, we wish that we had names that were easier to spell out. I mean, there could be lots of other alternatives to common names. Middle names could do the trick, too.

We just think that adding too many characters can cause a lot of confusion, especially when we’re at the stage of learning how to spell our names. If it sounds different, we’re cool with it. However, if the letter arrangement is too confusing, you might want to scrap it off.

While I was growing up, legal documents became a bane of my existence. I always had to make sure that every letter is placed correctly—otherwise, it could be troublesome. Kalilah isn’t that difficult to spell. It’s just that people spell it out differently. I’ve been given the name Khalila, Kahlia, and Kayla. They’re great so long as they don’t reflect on very important records. So. always think twice about that odd baby names you’re planning to give.

It reminds me of how outstanding I am – especially in the eyes of my parents.”

Despite all the challenges that I had to go through given my peculiar name, I learned one lesson and, it’s all about individuality. Often, I come across as someone to look out for because of my moniker, but I realized that it’s how I make use of it to my advantage that makes it a great name.

My parents thought of giving me Kalilah long before I was born. They’ve been through some of the craziest naming ideas as well. Regardless, this should be enough of a reminder for both parents and kids that the naming process is no joke. Parents deserve the recognition in these situations, and for that, kids like us are grateful and appreciative of their efforts.

“It’s not only about making us a standout in the crowd. It’s about putting your heart on your baby’s name – and the rest will follow.”

So, to my dearest moms and dads, life changes from the moment you decide on a name. It can make or break us, and hopefully, it gives your children the inspiration to live up to it—just like what it did for me.

The name Kalilah wouldn’t mean anything to me if it weren’t for the thoughtfulness of my parents and what they did for me through the years. It’s not only about making us a standout in the crowd. It’s about putting your heart on your baby’s name—and the rest will follow.