Sunday, 8 August 2010

Identity and name

It's so nice to be back! Since I realised that this blog could be found on Google when people did a name search, I didn't feel comfortable exposing everything personal on it, so I removed certain content, particularly because I had started a new job and I am cagey about private matters at work - I try to keep the two distinct when I can. And for a while everything I was living felt too personal to write about, not because I didn't want readers or friends to know, but because didn't want people who know me in a professional capacity to have binoculars into my life. I find it strange that I feel comfortable exposing things to people I haven't met, yet in a certain sphere I am reluctant to give of myself.

My identity has always been tied up with my name. My maiden surname is very distinct, and in Israel well known. It evokes a certain time and place, and it is exotic sounding. No-one could ever spell it - that part was annoying - but only my family has it. It's pretty cool to know that anyone you stumble upon with the same name is related to you. Also, on a practical note, I never needed my customer ID number for anything because I was almost always guaranteed to be the only one with my name. I am an only child, so that also factored into my thinking about whether to change my name. If I changed it it would die out on my side of the family. It felt like a lack of allegiance to my parents. I knew they wanted me to keep my name. My mother kept her maiden name at work and changed it for anything personal.

I had a real dilemma on my hands - I just didn't know what to do. In the end I changed my name, not at all sure I had done the right thing. I would pick up the phone and begin to say Vanessa Oldlastname and stop myself, sounding crazy. I couldn't quite utter my new name so would pick up and say 'hello' - completely inappropriate in the legal sphere!

But, I am growing into my new name, liking having a more 'usual' name. Almost everything has now been changed over but my passport, because I fly weekly, and I caught myself looking at my maiden name on it and thinking 'that's not right'. So the shift has occurred. It is nice to share a name with Marc, it makes me feel as though we are our own family. And I have come to realise that by changing names I am not letting go of the past that made me who I am, just taking on a name that reflects who I want to become.


Esme said...

Welcome back and congrats Mrs. I agree with you about your name especially given your occupation. You never want the two lives colliding. Did you ever receive the package I sent you?

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