Hi, My name is Helenna Hercigonja-Moulton, it’s a long name. I know.
The Hercigonja part come from my mom who is Croatian and the Moulton comes from my Jamaican dad. I also have a middle name, Louise, but that one gets disregarded more often then not because it’s a mouthful to present myself as Helenna Hercigonja-Moulton already.
Even when I was younger I had a hard time learning how to write my own name, in a classroom with kids like “Johnny O’Niel” “Spencer Dove” or “Addison Oliver” and then me with my long Croatian-Jamaican name was much harder in comparison.
People had funny ways of saying it as well, from “Helna”, “hell-naw”, “Heleena”, and “Elena” (mostly in Miami) to “HerciGANJA” “Cigo” “Hele” and my personal family favorite “helly”. Not to forget “Helga” and “30 letters” which was a nickname I got at a soccer camp at Florida State University because the coach was fascinated with the fact that my name had a full 30 letters all together.
I remember a time when I thought you couldn’t make a good nickname with my name but in the end I got more than I bargained for.