Did you know I used to hate my name? Yup. I hated the way it sounded, I hated the way people would pronounce it and I thought it was a very ugly name in general. (My low self-esteem didn’t make it any better, but that’s a different story). It took me years to introduce myself to people as Katalina. Not only did I hate the name, but I hated the girl attached to it.

And yet… when I told myself I love you for the first time, I didn’t say “I love you, Kat. I love you, Kata. I love you, girl.” I said “I love you, Katalina.” It sounds a little insane but having said my full name kind of shocked me. I was so used to using a nickname, I figured any of those would’ve easily fallen off my tongue.

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Shout loud, ‘I am lucky to be what I am!…

Dr. Seuss, Happy birthday to you

But they didn’t. Katalina did. Although I still tell people to call me by a nickname because I like it, I’ve grown unashamed to introduce myself by my full name. “Kat” wasn’t written on my birth certificate. “Kata” wasn’t announced when I was handed my diploma and “Girl” wasn’t printed on my driver’s license.

This is YOU. It’s who you are. It’s where your story begins. It’s where your fight unfolds.

But…Owner of Triumphant. I don’t think I can fully express what I feel at seeing my name as the owner of my own brand, of something that I am trying to build and create. I feel pride, disbelief, joy, and relief. Relief that I am where I’m supposed to be in my life right now. That I’ve achieved something so great, it’s hard to believe it would’ve only remained a dream in the past. Something that was completely unattainable.

But I’m here, with no shame or sorrow of who I am and what I went through to get here. So many of us have struggled or are currently struggling with something deemed to be very simple; speaking our own name and actually using it. Forget about what others have told you. Even if it’s just a whisper, say your name.

This is YOU. It’s who you are. It’s where your story begins. It’s where your fight unfolds.