It is somewhat unusual I guess. For years I was the only Tyla I knew. In fact, I thought I was the only one. On the planet. Ever! Then a friend got a computer that was hooked up to this thingy called the Internet and told me you could find just about anything on it. You could even search for people.
So one evening I sat at my friend's computer and, in the process of trying to locate my long lost friend Ursula, I decided on a whim to type my name in the search window. I was shattered. Really, people. I almost cried. I wasn't the only Tyla. In fact, there are thousands of us out there.
How could this be? I was always (and still am) the most average person you'd ever meet. I wasn't a straight A student. I wasn't an athlete. I had done nothing incredible. In fact, the only thing special about me was my name. And now it wasn't even special.
My mother's friend, Ms. Effie, is the lady responsible for my moniker. She herself the bearer of a great name had read the name "Tyla" in a novel and suggested it to my mom and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years 91% of people have mispronounced it when first addressing me. It is pronounced Tie-la, with the 'a' in 'la' having a short 'u' sound, as you would hear in luck or duck. A few, like a former, legendary, beloved boss, never pronounced it correctly. Ever. He, as so many others, called me Twyla. Our first phone conversation went something like this...
Mr. Brown: Hello. Twyla?
Me: Yes, this is Tyla.
Mr. Brown: Twyla, this is Mr. Brown at your hometown school. I have a 3rd grade spot up here if you want to come teach for me.
Me: Oh, yes. I would love to teach for you.
Mr. Brown: Well, okay then, Twyla. Now, I'll need the spelling of your name and your social security number. So, how do you spell that?
Me: Well, Mr. Brown, it's Tyla. T.y.l.a. Tyla.
Mr. Brown: Okay, then, Twyla. We're glad to have you. Just come on up and stop by the school when you get a chance.
Me: Thank you, Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown: Sure thing, Twyla. We'll see you in a day or two.
Bless his heart, he never did call me by my actual name but I didn't care. He was an awesome boss!
Today, it seems I'm everywhere. I'm the Texas Young Lawyers' Association, an English rock musician, a sophisticated line of bikini wear, and now...wait for it...a Bratz!
I am Tyla and you'll be happy to know I finally found my long lost friend Ursula. She's alive and well and living somewhere really cold!