Sierra is the name my parents chose to call me when I was born. Actually, before I was even conceived. The story (and I’m not sure I have the facts 100% straight on this, because it’s been a long time since I was told) is this: My dad was a teenager or maybe in his early twenties (doesn’t really matter… it was before I existed) and he met a little girl. I think I remember him saying he had to help her do something (like get a kite out of a tree?) but that could just be some embellishment my imagination made up in the past that now seems real. Anyway. He thought she was really cute and he asked her name. She said, “Sierra,” and he knew he wanted a daughter with that name.
Part of the charm of this story is picturing my handsome daddy as a sweet and helpful young guy. Part of it is remembering sitting on my dad’s lap and feeling so safe and loved as he told me all about how I became Sierra. The other part that really charms me is that he chose my name before he ever met my mom. All of these combine to make it one of my favorite family stories.
I was born in California. This is what my mom told everyone when I was young, as if to explain my name. Growing up in Ohio in the early 90’s where Sierra was a very “weird” name always made me feel different and strange. I wanted my name to be Sarah (with the h, for good measure) because that’s what all my peers mispronounced Sierra as. To me, Sierra was a colorful, pretty, and showy girl and I was bland, chubby, and quiet. As I got a older, Sierra seemed hollow and trendy, with seemingly every little girl I met having my name.
I ended up falling into my name without noticing it. A few years ago, I suddenly realized I liked it. It suddenly fit me. I grew into my own skin. I became much more colorful. I am Sierra.
Sierra is a Spanish place name and means “saw”. It peaked in 1999 at #41 and was #215 in 2010. I prefer to remember that its sister name, Ciara, is Irish, because that reflects my own heritage a little better (though I know that may be a stretch.) SiSi is really the only possible nickname, though I always promptly corrected anyone who wanted to call me that.
Sierra calls to mind snow-tipped mountains and expansive open spaces filled with natural beauty. The sound of Sierra is light and pretty; charming to the ears and tongue.
Sierra is a purple, orange, and pink sunset. She is dancing in a field of wheat. She is a cool, but sunny April day with cerulean skies and fluffy clouds.
Sierra is natural, beautiful, thoughtful, light, connected, and creative.
Thank you, Dad and Mom for choosing Sierra for me!