By Dana McKenna
I remember when I decided to do it.
I was going to change my name.
I had just filed for divorce. It was liberating, knowing I’d done something proactive for my emotional and psychological well-being. After I gave my (now) ex the ultimatum of ‘me, or everyone else in a skirt’ (guess which he chose?), I hired a lawyer, filed the paperwork, and was on my way (little did I know he would stretch it out over two+ years, quickly making it the Big Bad Awful, but that’s another story).
So, changing my last name. Not back to my maiden name; no, I hadn’t been that person for nearly 20 years. And I didn’t want to wait until after the divorce was final, I wanted to do it now. It was a further step to heal, another step in the direction to reclaim my own life. And it was the right decision.
Now, what name did I want to reflect me? What name did I want to represent “me” to the outside world?
To be, or not to be, Smith or Jones. That was the question.
I wrote down or typed into my cell phone every name I came across that I liked. From looking through books on my coffee table, watching TV and movies; perusing magazines, bookshelves at the library, FaceBook, and bookshelves at Barnes & Noble; mulling names over-heard in conversations standing in line; to (more) perusing of used-books store shelves, place names on maps, family trees, cemeteries (really, headstones are a bounty of monikers!), other people’s bookshelves…you get the idea.
My long list devised, now needed some serious weeding. I would practice introducing myself out loud using the names I’d found.
That lopped off at least 1/3 of the list. Continue Reading…