27 July 2012

What's in a Name?

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.

1 comment:

  1. OMG I have a post with the exact same title!! Taking a new name has meant so much more than just being married Hi to Vicky Cooper - I get it!


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