Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A New Name

Well, it's official - it's on the driver's license. I've changed my name.

Wow. Thirty-six years of my life under one identity, and starting today, I have a new one.

I've accumulated quite a bit of official-ness under my maiden name. A bank account, a mortgage, credit cards, a retirement account . . . I've been a full-on grownup with my maiden name.

But it's not the loss of my old name, really, that gives me pause. To be honest, I'm not that close to my father's family - they're not the tightest-knit. When I was a little girl, in fact, I planned to change my last name to my mother's family name; I had this grand scheme to run off to Maine, where my mother's family lives, and "become" one of them - I had an issue with my Southern heritage (I've gotten over it).

No, it's just change in general. I've never been a big fan of change. It's a fear of the unknown - what if it's not as good as it is now? Even when a situation sucked, at least it was comfortable - I knew where I stood, how to navigate (never mind that I was miserably unhappy).

When I met Kyle, I learned how much better things can get if you just let go. But the change was made for me - I didn't choose it. Taking the first step myself, bringing about a change, not just accepting it - this, for lack of a better word, "personal growth" has been a work in progress. There are still times when it takes conscious effort for me to let go of the known, the comfortable, and move on to the next, unknown, scary, thing.

But I have. I took a deep breath and changed it all up. I fell in love. I sold my house, left a job I'd had for ten years, and moved away from friends to a new city. And look! Obnoxious as it is to proclaim it, life is ridiculously awesome. I'm humbled by the things I've been blessed with.

And now I'm married - a whole new experience awaits.

Bring it on.

3 comments:

erin said...

do one thing every day that scares you. :)
and congrats!

Hips Unhinged Ltd said...

The issue of changing one's name after marriage has always fascinated me. Looking at it objectively, it's ridiculously outdated - why should the woman lose the name she's used all her life in favour of his? Why not the other way round? Or, for complete equality while keeping things simple for any future children, pick a new name together?

And yet, I'm a traditional girl and fully intend to take my husband's name one day. Assuming I don't marry a Pratt. Or a Bowie, since that would sound plain ridiculous with 'Zoe'. And, silly as it is, I can't help but make assumptions about women who retain their maiden names after marriage. I presuppose that they will be THAT kind of career-driven, vegelesbian feminist bitchy type, or worse, that they are not fully committed to their husbands. After all, it is a gesture of devotion to adopt another's name, more so in some cases than others. Our minister for education is called Ed Balls, and I can't help but admire the devotion his wife has shown if she's taken his name. THAT'S love.

All that aside, I'm really glad that change has worked out for the best with you, Mrs.

Kim said...

Well said. I agree that change can be incredibly scary. But like you said, sometimes you just gotta let go and see what happens. I'm glad you took the plunge and that it's brought you such joy. Congrats!