On my recent trip back home, I was visiting a friend when she called my name to get my attention. It went in one ear and out the other — I didn’t even react. “Diane?” she repeated. And only upon hearing it for a second time did I jump to action and reply. No, I wasn’t lost in my thoughts or out of earshot. In that moment, I just didn’t recognize Diane as my name. That’s because for the past three years, I’ve answered to “Deeanne.” Or the French pronunciation of my name (the French and American vowels don’t jive). The “i” in French is pronounced “ee” and my name sounds very similar in French to Deeanne. But more than my name has changed.
Has living abroad changed me in other ways? Of course, and maybe you can relate.