Shout out to Shelby Pykare for dropping this idea in the Writer’s Block Bowl months ago.
To be honest,
I wrote a different piece Monday night titled: “Happy Thanksgiving: A Bad Case of Déjà vu.”
I stayed up all night writing it and after two hours of sleep, I realized I’d rather preserve my emotional well-being than go through what I will when I finally publish that piece (and I will, just not today). So think of this post as more fun to share and discuss rather than me running out of ideas, haha.
Lately, everywhere I turn I keep seeing that it’s “engagement season” so what better time to confess why I dropped my maiden name?
Last year around this time my students were confused. All of them thought I would either keep my last name or hyphenate.
“You look like a hyphenator, Ms. Henderson. Like you don’t need a man.” Shannon said, moving her neck to exaggerate her point.
I cracked up.
Against common belief, changing my name was actually what I was looking forward to the most when getting married, and here’s why:
I saw changing my name as a way of freeing myself
I love my family, but I’ve always believed Hendersons experience a particular type of chaos. We have some generational curses we won’t acknowledge, and as a result can’t heal from. Therefore, changing my name was a symbolic way for me to do away with that cycle and hold. Taking my husband’s last name meant change and a clean slate. I’m at a different school this year and my students only know me as a Chapman and it’s quite surreal. For me, freeing myself constantly means consenting, taking autonomy over my body, and being allowed to choose, and I made a decisive decision to become apart of an additional family (even after being informed), and it felt good.
That being said, I know this isn’t the case for everyone and I’m super interested in feedback on this piece. If you’re married–did you change your name? If you’re thinking about it, would you? Is it not that deep?
I know of some couples that decided to come together and change their last names entirely, which I believe is also cool.
Let me know 🙂