Changing your name is a lengthy process, full of millions of letters and in the case of passports and driving licences, lots of money.
I have been thinking for a while now of changing my name. Well, when I say changing it, what I actually mean is reverting back to the name on my birth certificate. Given the time, documentation and money involved, as well as the emotional ramifications, this decision has taken a while to reach.
I was eight when my dad died and just over a year later my mum remarried. Although I was happy to see her resettled, and he was and is the best stepfather I could have hoped for, from then onwards I felt disjointed.
Maybe it was the little girl’s way of thinking, but I remember at that time feeling that I wasn’t a proper member of a family anymore. When the holiday tickets used to arrive each year with the different names on it felt strange and wrong. Like I was a leftover from an old relationship.
When I reached 11 after talking about how I felt it was decided that I would change my name to the new surname. Given my age I didn’t need to bother with change of name deeds and I didn’t want to go down the adoption route, so I simply started using the new surname.
Years down the line and now I’m 33. Whilst I understand my reasoning for wanting to change my surname when a child, I now miss my old surname. I miss the connection it gave me to my dad and I’ve found, that although I call myself by my stepfather’s name, I still think of myself in terms of my dad’s name.
I don’t need the sense of belonging like I did when I was a child. Taking back my former name is in a sense reconnecting with my younger self and that is something I want. So much of my life went awry after my dad died and now I think I have finally dealt with all that, I want a new start with the old me.
So, after I have a long talk with my step father, whom I love a lot and want him to understand, I will be going back.
Hello Vicky Cooper. I’ve missed you, a lot.