Once in a blue moon, I run into someone in person or by e-mail who doesn't know that I legally changed my name, first and last. They of course want to know why. So I send them the link to this blog.
1. Because Why the f*ck not?
I remember my first scholarship trip to Paris as a teenager. I bought a postcard that said “Sors de ton trou, viens à Paris” and thought it was hilarious. I mailed it to myself. And when I got home, I showed it to classmates and they looked at me with, “Who do you think you are?” disdain.
To which I responded, nobody. You’re right, I am absolutely nobody. This aligned with my upbringing to be small, to be quiet and to be invisible, so my parents wouldn't fight about money, so my mom could devote herself to serving her in-laws, and so my parents could focus on producing a male child.
I rarely did anything because I wanted to. I did things so I could stay small and invisible. Well, now is the time to do what I wan just because why the f*ck not?
She said f*ck it and she lived happily ever after.
2. Because I wanted IT since I was 8
I’ve wanted to change my name since I was 8. Every time a teacher did roll call, it took me a second to respond because I never identified with my given birth name. I learned to accept it over the years, but shouldn't a name, an identity, and even a life, be of your own choosing, of your own free will?
3. Because I almost married someone just so I could
I briefly dated someone in college, thinking that if we got married, I could go to the name change office. And since I was there, I could slip a $20 to the officer and get my first name changed too. I pondered it every single day for a month and then decided not to.
4. Because there’s no one around to shame me
By now, all my grandparents have passed. And my dad passed away suddenly last year. So there’s literally no one left to shame me or to feel shamed by me for wanting to change my first and last name. There’s no one left to pull the “Oh, so you’re ashamed of our name / heritage?” strings.
Note: If you’re thinking about legally changing your name, I hope you don’t let the potential of familial shame prevent you from tasting the sweet nectar of freedom.
Bhaktapur, Nepal 2008 © Ellany Lea
5. Because I love spreadsheets
A legal name change requires far less paperwork than you think. You get your name change certificate, to get your new birth certificate to get your new driver’s license. And everything else falls elegantly into place like well placed dominos.
Keeping a spreadsheet made it super simple and easy: one column with the ID to be changed, one column for "Date Applied", and one column for "Date Obtained". And then just let time pass. Don’t chase different offices down, no one will respond, no one will care. Just wait, all will arrive in your mailbox.
6. Because I married myself
I once watched a TED talk about the most important person to marry… which is yourself. Then I watched an episode of Glee where the principal, Sue Silvester, married herself. I howled laughing and decided to do the same.
I bought myself a ring and pronounced myself God and Goddess. Lol! So now that I’m married, I give myself permission to change my name.
7. Because It's Soul Recognition
I was Skyping with my friend M, who hadn’t realized that I legally changed my first and last name. She thought it was just a new persona on Facebook. And I found myself in flow saying, "it's not just identification, but soul recognition”.
Calling me by my birth name is like calling me by my birthday. It's data. It’s identification.
Calling me by my soul's new name is like harps playing, sunflowers beaming, and confetti blazing. It’s soul recognition. It’s resonance.
Back You Up
As I re-read the headings, I realized that these 7 reasons apply to everything worth doing, not just to a legal name change. If you ever wonder about launching a new project, business venture, or quest, use these same 7 reasons to back you up.
- Do it because why the f*ck not
- Wanting to do something is reason enough to do it
- Never marry someone to fulfill a personal desire
- Letting family members prevent you from living is no life at all
- Letting time pass solves 90% of problems
- Do it because YOU said so
- Do it because your soul needs to
Do it because harps will play, sunflowers will beam, and confetti will blaze. Do it because you've given yourself permission to live free!