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Her Name, Her Identity

Posted: November 19, 2020

“What’s in a name”, he wrote. “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet…”

Beautiful and true. But we have evolved a lot since Shakespeare wrote this.

A name, my name – was chosen for me. I’m the namesake of a star student in my mom’s school. It was a name she liked since her early teens. Back then she may not be thinking about naming her baby, or even having babies. But the name stayed with her for years.

At my birth, the stars aligned as if I was meant to have that name. A Taurus by Vedic astrology, I was to have a name that begins with B, V, U or W. And mom picked a nice one. The one I have since four decades now.

Surnames, I understand, originate from regions, occupations, religion or status. Put together, I had a unique name – just one in my world.

As a young journalist, getting a byline in print was a big deal. To see you name under the headline of the article on which you’ve worked really hard, is a great feeling. My dad collected by articles in a portfolio. He would proudly show it to friends who came over. When we went more and more digital, I started saving the weblink to add to my CV.   

So after my marriage, I kept my name and added my married surname to it. I didn’t want to lose my identity of 25 years, yet wanted to embrace the new title of Mrs linked with his surname. It felt even more complete. And somehow more important. For a long time I kept my maiden surname as my middle name – mostly until I was writing with bylines. Later when I switched to content writing, it seemed simpler to just drop the middle name. It felt right at the time. I was married for a long time and had grown into the new identity. Even today, my married names remains unique in the world; and I love that!

Both my children were named while they were still in the womb. My husband and I picked their names and chose how we will spell them. There is meaning to each name. And we hope our children display the virtues their names hold. We hope they love their names as much as we do, and are proud to introduce themselves likewise. If they don’t, they may grow up to change it into something that rings true for them. Though a name is chosen for them, it is eventually their choice if they want to make it their identity.

A choice. An individual choice in something that one is known most by – their name. So when it comes to young women getting married – lets leave it to them to choose how they will be addressed. Same name, new name, new surname… whatever rings true for her.

Image via Unsplash

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