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The Places We Exist

The Baptism

        I was born in an in-between.

        It was a December in 1998, the 13th. Not the beginning, not the end, but the middle.

        I was not named for a while, because my parents could not find a name that fit me, a name they could agree on. My mom had decided that I should be Elle Sofe, a beautiful little Sami girl. My dad on the other hand, had decided that I should be Solveig, a strong little Norwegian girl.

I became neither of them.

        Our priest suggested Mathilde. He said he had never baptized someone with that name, and he found it truly beautiful. I was not especially Sami nor Norwegian, but a pretty name indeed, a name that allowed my parents to meet in the middle, the space where I would continue to exist. That day, three girls were baptized Mathilde. I wondered if they were in the middle too.

        All three of us were baptized as mighty in battle, or that was at least what our name meant. This meaning was important for me, because I wanted to know who I was and where I came from. It would take me a long time to figure out th at there was more to me than a name.

        Maybe this was where it all went wrong. I was convinced that I started this life with the identity of a soldier, but no one would tell me which side of the battle I needed to fight for. When I think about it, no one even told me what the fight was about.

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