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#girlswithdifficultnames no. 002

now that this series is launched, i have some subsets of names i’ll be exploring in alphabetical order. first up – continuing with beautiful, notable names of those in the public eye.

side-eye, instagram. side-eye.

i just recently become aware of the fact that instagram has jokes only saves your 300 most recent likes. this doesn’t make me happy for many reasons. i hit ‘like’ on a little bit of everything – things i want to check out later, images that are great inspiration and moodboard-wise for future design projects, fam and friend milestones, cute babies and puppies. i’ve been double-tapping to my heart’s content for years only to discover that i now don’t have access to most of them. i get that your servers can’t handle the load, ig, but there’s got to be a better way. ugh. to somewhat combat this injustice, i’ve set up a pinterest board to automatically add new likes as i tap (thank you ifttt). so i can sleep at night knowing they won’t disappear and i can access them later. rest in peace to all the unjustly discarded pixels i was trying to digitally hoard.

tell me the truth.

one of my goals for 2015 has been to spend more time on passion projects – the self-initiated visual stuff that is deeply personal and done just for the joy and fun and experience of doing and making. 2012-2014 for me was spent with so much single-minded focus (getting into school, getting thru school), and of course along with that focus came tons of ideas and brainstorms flooding into my imagination that i didn’t have time to act on, because that’s how life is. i made sure that i kept copious records of all those brainstorms, and now that school is conquered, i can finally work my way through them. #weeklywordswithnuri is one, and today i’m launching another: #girlswithdifficultnames. (sigh, the hashtag. so ubiquitous and over-exposed but also so helpful and kinda revoluntionary.) i thought it fitting to use the former to introduce the latter.


weeklywordswithnuri-warsan-shire#weeklywordswithnuri no. 51.


let me just go on the record:

warsan shire is a gift.

if you don’t know who she is, get familiar. she has a way of verbalizing emotions and cornerstones of womanhood that is literally breathtaking. magical black girl to the hilt. i’ve been a fan for years, and the above is my favorite quote of hers.

names have fascinated me for as long as i can remember. most likely the result of me being the owner of a difficult one. my name was one of the things i got teased about as a kid, and for a chunk of childhood i didn’t like it. but change is inevitable, and thankfully part of my growth process over the years has been learning to love how unique my name is and the fact that it stands out. discovering warsan’s magical quote was pure validation of that love. i wasn’t alone in being proud of being different.

#girlswithdifficultnames will showcase first names that i see as difficult, some recognizable and some not. some are difficult because they’ve been labeled as such by mass media and pop culture, some are difficult purely in anatomy or pronunciation. some have seemingly lessened in difficulty just from exposure, but they’re difficult nonetheless. the series explores difficulty from multiple perspectives; what one sees as negative, another sees as positive.

i see all of these names as positive, beautiful and necessary. and i want to give them the props they deserve. as well as the girls who own them. and so here’s the first in the series, featuring a fierce girl and name.




i’m keeping the series as simple as possible in presentation on purpose. the names speak for themselves. names are one of the first and most important things we’re given; each one matters just by existing.

disclaimer: part of me feels silly for starting and sharing this series…that tiny voice of doubt wondering who will care about typed names on a screen? but a larger part of me won’t let me retreat.

there are many names in the pipeline, so stay tuned.


excuse the dust.


updating the theme and i don’t feel like putting up a coming soon page. so things will look a bit wonky for a few days.

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