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"gift receipts"

your name is a gift.
when you were born, your parents chose it, handpicked, maybe even argued over the right one
the doctor handed them wrapping paper, colored blue or pink, and said "here."
so there you were, an infant with a small wrapped box next to you, and inside the box,
was your name

no one tells you that names come with gift receipts.
when you're a baby, you have no choice but to accept your present
you never change your mind
you carry that blue or pink box with you everywhere, proudly.
but sometimes,
you open the box and find yourself straining to smile, look up, and say "thank you."

it’s like you were gifted a t-shirt
but the sleeves are too tight, and the tag itches your neck
you just want to take it off
but they tell you
“do you really want to throw away your parents’ effort? all that thought put into choosing your gift?”
so you keep the shirt on.

but there will come a day, i promise you,
where you will look into the box, and stick your hand in,
looking for some kind of comfort,
and you’ll find the gift receipt,
folded and tucked into the corner.

you’ll walk up to the store, place your box on the counter, and say,
“i don’t want this anymore.”
and there will be someone, whether you know them now or not,
who will help you put the box back on the shelf.
maybe that someone is just... you.
but either way, you’ll choose a new box.
whether it takes seconds or weeks or years to pick one.

your new box will be your favorite color, maybe blue, or pink, or purple,
or maybe you just won’t be able to choose, so it’ll be striped.
your new box will be just the right size, so you can carry it with you,
everywhere you go.
your new box has just the right name inside,
because you chose it.
and this time, you won’t need a gift receipt.