My name is Isabel Anguera.

Within this tile my nickname, Mimi, is spelled out at the top. Below and sideways are my initials, for my full name Isabel Anguera.

My mom decided she would call me Mimi before I was even born. She didn’t much care what my official name was, but the nickname was set, and to this day my family called me Mimi. In Peru I went by my nickname, even at school, but in Portugal I was made fun of for it and I became embarrassed. I started going by Isabel, and didn’t really look back.

To my family I will always be Mimi. If they call me Isabel I struggle to register the name as my own, or I think something is wrong. It sounds alien to me, which is fascinating because from most anyone else it’s what I respond to. In my own head I am Mimi, but I attribute it with me at eight or nine years old. It’s someone I want to protect and show that everything turns out okay. Isabel goes through life fulfilling responsibilities, not necessarily having fun while doing so--I’ve made it a formal thing, that could be argued protects me from expressing the Mimi parts of me that got hidden when I was made fun of for it.

But Mimi as a name for my parents came from the multiple scares they went through through my birth. When my mom found out she was pregnant she did so because she had a broken rib, when they did an ultrasound on my heart I had a polyp that no one could explain, and close to the day I was born the doctors told my mom she had lost me. My mom called me a miracle, or milagro in Spanish, which makes me feel arrogant to relay, but it was true for her and my dad and all that they went through with me.