oday is my “Name Day” – I can’t find an exact translation in English, but in Bulgaria many names have days on which they are celebrated – usually traditional Bulgarian names or those who are of Christian saints.
It’s actually kind of an important celebration, but I’ve never seemed to feel it that way. I think it’s because I never really felt like “Mariya”. I usually don’t respond if somebody calls me that way and when I look at myself in the mirror I never see a Mariya there. Even now when I see it written on the monitor I recognize the sequence of letters, the “y” which I’m very particular about when writing my name in English, I know that this is my name, but it feels like the name of some fictional character that I’m writing about.
Mariya is the person on the official documents, the person who stands in line at the bank, at the post office, the person who has a CV and an identity card and a driving license… and all those other things that make us “officially” exist in the world. Masha is me. (That sounds a bit schizophrenic…but I promise you I’m not.)