The lights Are On, But No One’s Home! (Postcard No.5)


Besides my ordinary obsession for seeking the hidden meanings in everything, recently I gave a thought to the obvious meanings which are often ignored nowadays, such as the meaning of your birth name. My name is Aida, even though I never felt that it belongs to me or that represents me in any way.

Since always, I react mechanically, turning my head in the direction of the voice calling out my name, understanding that it refers to me, but not feeling it as a part of my identity. There was no place for Aida in my nameless egocentric cosmos for a long time. It is possible that I had a distance from my own name, because I was surrounded with a lot of namesakes. Each name has it’s 15 minutes of fame and marks a few generations in bizarre circles of fashionable repetition. Aida is one of the most common Muslim names in Bosnia. The origin of name is Arabic and it means visitor; guest.

In my mindset of understanding, all Aida’s I ever known were stable and ordinary characters applicable to Bosnian mentality, moral values and the common name. Living in the present moment without any aim or sanity,  I simply could not see the connection between my name and myself, or at least my projection of what I found to be me, nor could I link myself with all known women called Aida. It was a strange combination of wanderlust, melancholy and ignorance directed at something which is part of you, but which you did not have a chance to choose for yourself.

I did not understand it before, but now it is clear to me; the given name is a custom-made gift. It is a handmade birthday card! It is a homemade baked cake! It is a special gift made of clay from your daughter for a Mother’s day! The moment when you get a chance to choose a gift for your own birthday or anniversary is the moment when the magic is gone. The gift turns out to be by order.  The feeling of surprise is replaced with expectation. The birthday is not special anymore, the anniversary is forgotten. Without the gift the special day is an ordinary day. No one is ready to give up on their own uniqueness. Therefore, do not despite your given name, it is part of who you are.

I gave a thought to my life and seeing it as a flashback I understood that my name may not belong to me exclusively, due to the fact that is not so rare and remarkable, but that my life is entirely applicable to the meaning of my name. It became clear to me that my nomadic life style was determined with my given name. I truly believe everything is a part of a Great plan of the Creator.


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