January 10, 2012

What's In A Name? Your Soul.

Ooh....Today's the day I change my name on my driver's license to the one that matches my marriage certificate. It's taken a year. But I think I'm ready. Provided I have a good hair day and the spray tan holds.

But beyond the self-esteem deflation which I am sure will be committed by some sadistic DMV photographer, I am worried about the emotional ramifications of the event. I have never changed my last name before. In less than two hours I won't be me any more. A surrender of the past for the promise of a future. Scary stuff.

Some people have asked me why this is so difficult as, oddly enough, the last name I have is not the last name of the man who gave me life. Back in the day (about the time the Bible was written) my mother fell in love with one man, though unfortunately she was married to a different man at the time. She got the baby bump and fled the state, divorced her husband, but gave me his last name to 'avoid scandal' (sorry mom if I'm letting the baby out of the bag). So I technically shouldn't even be this person. But I am.  It's me. It's my identity. And it's pretty frightening to give it up.

My biological father and I eventually had a very wonderful relationship and about ten years ago he asked me to change my last name to his. "Dad, I'm an adult. I can't do that." I told him. My dad's heart was a wee bit broken but I couldn't reverse years of who I was to fix him. As much as I loved him, I couldn't give that up.

In addition, I've been married before. Still, I kept my name. I'm sorry for this. It breaks my heart a little that I couldn't surrender that then. I guess it should have been a sign. But the name was mine. Someone could borrow my spirit for awhile, but not my soul. And I do believe the soul resides in every letter of your name.

I've been called a lot of things by the men in my life...gypsy, unsettled, always looking, never satisfied, has the wanderlust...and I told "S" before we got married that I doubted I could take his name. It's the only part of me no one could steal. And he said okay and kissed me anyways.
With that kiss the spell was broken. He wasn't trying to steal anything. I knew, in that moment, that he would let me be me - no chains attached.

Yes, I've had my bouts of wayfaring, unable to remain in one place or with one person for very long.  I used to think I wasn't cut out for it but now I know...deep inside me I really know. It wasn't that I was always trying to run. It was that I was always on the search for someone like "S" who wouldn't cage me but would give me his full blessing to be me in any shape or way I needed to be me. And with this blessing I've hung up my maps and told the caravan to take a hike. I may be a gypsy at heart but I've set up a permanent camp. And that's just beautiful.

I hope that when I present my new driver's license to my husband today he understands the gift I'm giving him. It's the biggest gift I have ever made to any person. He gets every piece of me, 100%. And I'm willing to stake my name on it.

Now to go fix my hair.

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