That’s Not My Name

Everybody has a name. It was given to you by your parents when you were born, and sometimes at school your name might be changed to a nickname but legally your name is what it says on your birth certificate, unless as a woman you change it to your husband’s surname  when you get married. Believe it or not it’s not compulsory to do this, it’s not the law but most women do it as “it’s easier”, not sure how but it does seem to be expected.

After the initial excitement of writing out your new name wears off, a new bride might start to feel a bit strange. It’s a bit like having a new identity but you’re not sure what this new one’s about and the weird thing is that after a while you miss having your old name mainly because that name is associated with everything you’ve ever done. That name is what every person you ever met knew you as, friends from school, first boyfriend, first job, first holiday with the girls etc. That name defined who you were and it’s sometimes really difficult to get used to being someone else, although a new married name can sometimes bring it’s own firsts such as a house, new baby, new set of friends and a new life.

One of the first things some women want to do though if she gets divorced is to revert straight back to her maiden name. It’s a way of reclaiming back her identity and moving on from a failed marriage and it is actually a straightforward process, but some women hesitate if they have children, only because they won’t have the same surname as their kids. I thought long and hard about this one and decided to still use my married name but the thing is this. I’ve now had my married name longer than I had my maiden name but I’ve always been the same person. With my married name I feel that I’ve done so much more even though I’ve been divorced for years, but that name now is who I am and I will never change it even if Prince Charming’s grandad comes along to sweep me off my feet. Luckily for me I still have friends who knew me long ago before any us were married. A different life, a different name, and different men and whenever I meet any of them we’re all right back there, we remember who we used to be when we had a maiden name,  young women who were fearless, confident, optimistic, giddy, thinking that we’ll never get old as we were far too cool for that. Over 35 years later and we all still think we’re the same now as we were then. Changing your name (or the passage of time) shouldn’t change who you are.

Life’s far too short for that.



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