Hi, my name is Jessica and I’ve always had a problem feeling connected to my last name.
I know it’s my given name and I absolutely love the history and my family it’s connected to, but usually, whenever I say my first and last name together I feel like a fraud.
My cousins and I get along amazingly well now, but I’ve always been jealous with the way they say their last name; they speak it with such pride and such a Spanish tongue that I always admired. I may not connect with my last name, but for the past 25 years old, it’s helped define who I am. Since it is a very Hispanic last name, and unless I have a very dark tan, my last name is the only thing that establishes my heritage at first glance.
As I got older I grew to like my name very much, and appreciated the culture and history it came with the surname. Then, seeing my name appear in print seemed to solidify that that’s who I am. I am Jessica T——.
And then I fell in love. I know that traditionally, the woman takes the man’s last name and goes about her life with a new moniker, but how does someone just change their entire persona like that?
Making my decision about the name situation was surprisingly harder than I thought it’d be, but after a lot of thought I came to a conclusion that I think will make me happy in the long run.
I’m legally taking his last name and I’m not hyphenating it with my maiden name. Not only would that be a ridiculously long name, but I think it’s important for me to start a family with him. Honestly, I think it will be harder signing the papers to legally changing my name than it’s been to do anything else in my life this far. I know it’s not me giving up who I am, because in the grand scheme of things, I am who I am and a name doesn’t change that, but it’s still going to be…weird.
My professional name will also be changing, and I’ve already started weaning the process. Since I will no longer be Jessica T——, it would be silly to keep that as my byline, so I’m dropping my last name and pulling up my middle name. My professional name will be Jessica Lynn. I’ve always loved my first and middle name together and I use it often (like on this blog, for example).
So there it is. The honest to goodness truth about who I am and who I will be.
Did you take his last name? Was it hard for you to make the decision to keep your maiden name or change it?