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Friday, October 17, 2008

Goodbye Single Me

Today I started the long and seemingly complicated process of changing my name to my husband's.

Let me tell you, I did not take the decision to change my name lightly. My thoughts went back and forth between "I want to change it for tradition, to be a cohesive family and because it's important to him" and "but what if I lose myself? I've been that person for 29 years, why should I change it now?".

Even up until last week I wasn't really sure what I was going to do. I was pretty sure I was just going to tack his name at the end of mine so I would have four names (my maiden name becoming a second middle name). I wanted to keep my name around for "professional" reasons. In other words, I didn't want people thinking I was changing my name (and therefore myself) for a MAN. So, in essence I was going to keep my name for the sake of others and how they see me, and not for me.

It's funny - I'm sure women in my parent's generation who didn't change their name were looked upon as strange. Now though, at least in my experience, people seemed surprised when I tell them I'm changing my name --- like this means I'm giving up myself to my husband, or that he's forcing me to do it. That is so far from the truth. I want to do it, and I don't feel I need to explain why.

At the DPS conference I had "hislastname" ("mylastname") on my nametag so that people would put two and two together and figure out I'm still the same person. That was the first time I started going by "hislastname", and I liked it.

Sure, it was weird, and it'll be a while before I'm used to it, but I like the fact that I'm his wife and I (personally) think sharing his name is a big part of it. An extra bonus? It makes it harder for those pesky ex-boyfriends to find me!

I feel that this is an entirely new era in my life, so why not start it with a new name? So, at the DMV today I changed my name to his and only his - not because I have to, but because I want too. So, with that we bid adieu to single me!