Lately, I’ve been getting the question “do you prefer Aida or Aissatou” a lot and to be honest, I don’t really have a preference. They’re one in the same to me.

Growing up, I heard Aissatou at school/work and Aida at home. Well, it’s really Aida Mbene at home. Unless you’re one of my siblings who may call me Aissatou when speaking to me in English but Aida Mbene when speaking in Wolof. It’s kind of weird now that I stop to think about it. As for oworkers know me as Aissatou or Aiss (not I-c-e). It’s A-I-S-S.

For people outside of my family, it boils down to where they met me. If they know me through Instagram, it’s almost guaranteed they know me as Aida. If it’s Facebook, then well I guess it depends on WHEN they knew me. It’s now getting complicated for no reason so just know you can call me Aissatou or Aida. Like I said, I don’t have a preference.

This whole “what should I call you debate” has led me to some important realizations though. For example, I didn’t stop to think about the personalities tied to each name. Aissatou is definitely more reserved and shy while Aida I guess is linked to my social media accounts today because she’s more outspoken. It’s official: I have an alter ego.

But on a more serious note, I am starting off with this topic because I wanted to introduce myself to the followers and subscribers of this blog. I have been publishing stories for a year, hiding behind the names of the women I name my stories after. It’s time both Aissatou and Aida stop hiding behind the keyboard and to start talking. I have told the stories of many women, fictional but inspired by true events. It’s my turn to tell my own story through weekly journals. You’ll get stories about things that happen to me, inner thoughts as I think through different topics, vulnerable moments captured, and more.

To start off, I want you all to get to know me better at a high level so I’m going to give you some fun facts about me.

I have two brothers and two sisters. I am the oldest girl.

I have two Bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Management Information Systems from Miami University (of Ohio).

I am working on my Master’s in Law at Emory University.

I think I have an addiction to sleep. Not confirmed.

I love perfectly ripe avocados. It’s critical that they are not too hard or brown on the inside.

If you didn’t already know it from all of the content on my blog, I am a feminist.

I sometimes have a temper.

I want to open a Women’s Center in Senegal one day.

I am 27 years old.

I see a little bit of myself in each of the women represented in my stories.

And last but not least, I really like pasta.

There is more to know but I will stop there. I hate the sound of my own voice so I’m not going to keep subjecting you to it. At least not for another week.

Which leads me to my next point. I will be audio-journaling for the next year. As part of the challenge I gave myself, I will be more vulnerable and authentic so cheer’s to that. Each voice entry will be accompanied with a transcript for traditional readers.

With that being said, thank you for listening/reading.

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