So, it’s been just over three weeks since we got married. I’ve been going through the process of legally changing my name – new bank cards, new health card, new photo ID (in which I look seriously derpy). I’m finally starting to see my new name in print, and I’m slowly adjusting to it. I guess I wanted to share some thoughts that I wrote in my journal last night:

I have to sign my new name carefully and deliberately, whereas I can scribble my old one in a second. I still find the whole process incredibly surreal. I feel like I’m walking around with someone else’s cards in my wallet. I recognise the picture but the person is a stranger. I feel like I should be seizing this chance – this is my tabula rasa, my chance to free myself from the baggage of my birth name: the family disputes, the schoolyard bullying. I never felt right, my name never clicked together properly. But I find myself mourning it, just a little.

My name carries a direct lineage spanning ten generations to humble beginnings in Mid Wales, so long ago that the concept of surnames didn’t exist. My seven times great grandfather was named Robert ap* Thomas, and it was his grandson David who became my first anticedent to bear our name. I’m proud of my heritage, and to lose the very obvious reminder of it saddens me much more than I anticipated (although I still have my very Welshy Welsh middle name).

I feel like I should be casting off the bits of my past that haunt me and weigh me down, and embrace the chance to start again. But, unexpectedly, I grieve. Just a little.

I still have a couple of things to do to complete the process, and I’m unsure what to do with my British passport (which is an expensive pain). It’s all very real, all of a sudden. And sometimes I’m not quite sure how to feel about it.

Anyway, I’d better get started on those damned thank you cards.

 

* ap is Welsh for ‘son of’, like the Irish ab and Scottish mac.

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