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Why I legally changed my name

The more I delayed sharing this journal entry, the more I thought, "Meh, why write it. It's done. I legally changed my name. I've filled out 20+ sets of immigration forms with my new passport. I's done. I'm me."

But as I re-read the headings, my soul realized that these 7 reasons apply to everything worth doing. If you ever feel cornered into justifying a new project, a business venture, or a quest, use these same 7 reasons to back you up.

Why I Legally Changed my Name

To me, it wasn't enough to be called Ella, as a pet name, a summer fling name, or a "aww, that's cute, you're up to another project" name. 

My soul knew it. My soul family knew it. So the Government of Canada might as well know it too.  

1. Why the fuck not?

I remember my first trip to Paris as a teenager on scholarship. 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 friends and they looked at me with, “Who do you think you are?”

To which I responded, nobody. You’re right, absolutely nobody. This was a perfectly adequate answer because it aligned with my conditioning to be small, to be invisible, to not take up any space.

Little Ella knew to stay small and invisible so her parents wouldn’t fight about money, so her mom would have more time to serve/ass-kiss her in-laws, and so her parents could focus on producing a male child. ‘Cause you don’t count unless you’re male.

Big Ella knows better. Why the fuck not?

2. Because I wanted to since I was 8

I’ve wanted to change my name since I was 8. Every time teacher did roll call, it took me a second delay to respond. I just never identified with that name. I learned to accept it, but shouldn’t a name, an identity, and even a life, be of your own design, of your own free will, of your own creative invention?

At 8, I knew this to be true. But being the tiny insignificant speck of invisibility I was, I never imagine I had the right to change it.

Big Ella knows better. Wanting to do something is reason enough to do it. 

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.
Big Ella knows better. Marrying someone just to change one's name is a terrible reason to do something.

4. Because there’s no one around to shame me

By now, all my grandparents on both sides have passed. And my dad passed away suddenly last year 3-countries into my 16-country freedom tour. So there’s literally no one left to shame me or to feel embarrassed/shamed by me. There’s no one left to pull the “Oh, so you’re ashamed of our name/heritage?” card.

If you’re thinking about legally changing your name, I hope you don’t let familial shame prevent you from tasting the sweet nectar of freedom.

Big Ella knows better. Letting family members prevent you from living is no life at all.

5. Because I love spreadsheets

A legal name change requires faaar less paperwork than you think. You get your name change certificate <-- use that to get your new birth certificate <-- use that to get your new driver’s license. And everything else can be obtained using those 3 new pieces of ID.

Keeping a spreadsheet made it easy peasy: one column with the ID to be changed, one column for "Applied", and one column for "Obtained". And then just let time pass. Don’t chase different offices down, no one will respond, no one will care.

Big Ella knows better. Letting time pass let's 90% of your problems resolve themselves.

6. Because I married myself

I once watched a TED talk about THE most important person to marry… 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! Who needs TV when I can entertain myself. So now that I’m married, I give myself permission to change my name, not just last name.

Big Ella knows better. She does things because SHE said so.

7. Because of resonance

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 resonance”.

Calling me by my old name is like calling me by my birthday. It's data. It’s identification. Calling me Ella is like clouds parting and harps playing and sun beaming and confetti blazing and heaven singing. It’s soul recognition. It’s resonance.

Whatever project, business venture or quest you have in your heart, do it. Do it because you give yourself permission to. Do it because YOU said so. Do it because the clouds will part and the harps will sing.

I haven't yet decided what to write to you next Sunday. So here's your change to redirect my train of thought. Reply, give me a question to answer or a puzzle to solve.


xo, Ella