Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thriving After Divorce: Why I Took Back My Maiden Name

Juliet:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I am a firm believer that names should mean something and by something I mean greatness. So many people are out there naming their children made up names which in some cases deliver no purpose, no drive. Mohamed Ali started calling his self The Greatest long before he was great and EVERYONE began believing and calling him The Greatest as well. I heard a saying, it's not what they call you but what you answer to.

When I was a Girl Scout Leader, my favorite activity was "What does your name mean", we would go around and tell how we got our names and if we knew the meaning. For those with "special" names, we created meaning by having the students pick words that started with each letter. They often times picked strong and powerful words that they aspired to be or characteristics that they possessed. They were always so proud to share. It usually set the tone of the group for the year. Someone just yesterday found the example I created for myself and sent me a picture of it!

So I had been waiting to get the court documents which would allow me to go to the Social Security Office and change my name. When it finally arrived I was thrilled. I ran straight there to get my name changed. I sat for an hour to be seen. The whole time I waited I kept thinking, I could have changed my name to anything. So I decided to come up with different names. the one that stuck out was free bird. I think of myself as a bird, free-spirited graceful as I SOAR through the wind, rain, and storms. Birds are dope as they care for their young and protect them from the predators. FREEBIRD that is me, I will consider that my native name like Running Bull. Finally it was my turn the man said these are not the official documents. I was crushed. I went home moping because I just wanted my name back so bad. I did not want any connection with my ex husband.

I had contemplated if I wanted to keep the name or get back my own. My aunt said, "Why not, you don't have any kids by him!" That helped me out a lot. So back to my maiden name we go.

I began thinking, with his name, I became someone who I did not know. I tried changing things about me so that he would like/love me more. I did things differently, I shut myself out. I became a stranger. I did things I would never do. I became paranoid and anxious. I was angry all the time but most people would not be able to tell. I was very unhappy. I had changed my name for him, moved in with him, changed churches because of him took on roles because of him and I really lost myself in him which was something I vowed never to do. You never know what you will or won't do until you are in that situation.

I wanted me back so badly. Not the same old me but the improved me. I grew up so much in my marriage and there were situations which made me a better me whether it was a bad or good situation. We have to learn how to take and understand everything that happens but toss out things that will hinder us from progression. That is what I am doing as I take on this journey, "Thriving After Divorce" I am seeking my happy place. I am seeking me back. The happy, bubbly, positive, carefree, goofy loving me. I hated being angry. I hated being paranoid. I thought I was going crazy.

I had to take my name back as sign of power and completion. I played a role outside of me and completed that "TEST" in life. I took back what was taken away from me unfairly.

I am so excited to have my name back. The awkward part right now is when I correct people or say my "new" last name, they say congratulations, they think I just got married. I take the congratulations as, "Congratulations on thriving after your divorce, taking back what is rightfully yours, and doing so so beautifully and gracefully." The fact that I did not act out of my own character despite all the madness and crazy antics I still was me, yea the storms were coming down hard beating me down but I took control of only what I could and that was me. That storm, people would have thought the ugliest and most damaging storm, but I saw it as pure beauty! I am truly thankful for that 2.5 year storm I call marriage.

I couldn't be like Tina Turner unfortunately... she is a good reason to keep the name, it became her image and who she was.

Have you gone through a divorce? Did you change your last name? Why or why not? Let me know!

Well stay tuned for more...

Peace and Blessings.
Cicely-Renee

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