CHOICE: To be, or not to be…Leonardo…No Not That one – by Leonardo Ramirez

Most of us make choices without exploring possibilities Were we given a choice as to our birth names? Somehow it seems to have been my life’s quest to live up to mine. I was born fifth in a family of ten. I grew up as Leon, my name. I responded to this along with all the unkind nicknames used to belittle me. I don’t ever remember being told my full birth name. I don’t remember anyone ever saying, “Your real name is Leonardo.” Why would they? It wasn’t until much later in my life that I asked why I was named as such, neither of my parents could give me a reason why. During my preparation for college I made a conscious decision to adopt the birth name I was given. I remember writing a full two pages in my high school annual acknowledging that I was leaving Leon behind, to become… Leonardo! Little did I know the challenges I would be facing by making this choice

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