A rose by any other name…
I chose not to legally change my name when the First Reader and I were wed. There were reasons for this, and what seemed like good ones – I did want to take his name, but I have an established professional career with my maiden name, plus the hassle of financial paperwork. I put it off. There would be a better explanation, but really that’s it – I procrastinated. And then we decided that changing my name in the midst of job hunting (plus my having been peripherally involved in a small internet controversy) would look hinky. So things lay where they were.
Until I started the new job. Here, I have to initial and date every step of my work, and those initials cannot be the same as any current or former employee. There is a CLS already working here. Two initials is insufficient. Well, I pointed out, if I had taken my husband’s name legally… And that’s how I wound up using CLB for a legal signature. It makes me happy in a small, strange way. Today I got my hard hat (yes, I am weird, this was exciting) and put my initials on the back of it. In case of emergency, this is me. This is Cedar’s hat, and Cedar is her husband’s.
I am his, and he is mine. I’ve written about this before, the difference between being owned, and being a part of someone. It’s not possession, it’s a gift freely given, not demanded. That makes all the difference in the world. If he wanted to control me, to make me obliterate myself and become only his, that would be a problem. I’ve been there – I won’t go back again. Instead, in the undemanding, simple love, I’ve found that I am wholly me, but I am also his.
So in the end, no matter what my name is, I know that when work is done, I am coming home to a hug, and a warm shoulder to lean on while we talk about our respective days. Even when the Little Man wants all my attention, I’m still me. With all my names.